THE BENTON Park School we know today is relatively modern, dating back 60 years.

But the site it occupies was first used for education more than 180 years ago and was home to a boarding school as early as 1838. An 1875 advertisement shows what the school looked like in those days when it was a place where young gentlemen were boarded and educated. Lessons included French, music, drawing and dance.

These photographs from Aireborough Historical Society show the changing face of the school over many decades.

The Benton Park estate belonged to Benjamin Hird in the late 18th century, and by 1838 the house was used as a school, run by Joseph Riley and his son John. In 1851 there were 33 boys in residence, but by the 1860s it it had become a private home again after it was bought by the Milligan family.

The house came back into educational use in the 1950s when Rawdon Littlemoor school used it as a senior department until the building was demolished in 1957.The new school was built in the grounds of the house and was formally opened in March 1961. The new school’s first headmaster Cyril Elliot was appointed in 1959 and pupils were admitted from September 1960.