OUR HERITAGE
1915 - present
1820
Our Building
In buildings that were originally the 'Benevolent Society of St Patrick' dating from 1820 the site was acquired by London County Council in 1921 who added a new wing to the existing building (which is now our Malone Hall) and incorporated 59 Stamford Street into the footprint of the site. At the time and until 1965 the building was the Lambeth School of Printing and Kindred Trades.
1915
Founding the Institution
As an institution the school has been in existence since 1915 as the Rotherhithe Nautical School as it was then known; based in three rooms at the Nautical Department of Rotherhithe New Road (Higher Grade) Boys School.
The "Nautical Training Department" had been set up by the Education Committee of London as a three year “experiment” to up skill the merchant sailors of the time particularly in response to the sinking of the Titanic. It was to run alongside the School of Engineering and Navigation (SEN) based in Poplar which was inaugurated in 1906 and catered for boys of fourteen years and above.
The honour of being the first “apprentice” placed from this “experiment” was recorded (according to the records of 1948) as going to Bob Spalding who came to the Nautical School from Childeric Road School, New Cross and found apprentice employ with Messer’s Furness Withy in 1916.
The Rotherhithe Nautical School stayed on at Rotherhithe New Road till 1937.
 
1965
Our Current Location
This ‘temporary’ home on Broadwall lasted the school for 18 years until 1965. The School Bulletins around this time record relief as the school planned its move to the building at number 61 Stanford Street. Numerous memos exist in the school archive from the 1963/64 period detailing the progress of the building and renovation works just prior to moving into the building of what was the Lambeth School of Printing and Kindred Trades directly across Broadwall.
The site was originally dissected by Broadwall the remainder of the site contained residential properties and the John Rennie primary school. The rear of the Stamford Street Unitarian Chapel was demolished in 1964 leaving just the Portico as the entrance to the yard of the school, and Broadwall no longer existed south of Stamford Street as the current site grew.
As the school enters its 105 year as an institution and 54 years on its current site the Nautical focus is no longer so prevalent, but LNS still offers courses for all age groups to become qualified on the water thus supporting the fledgling careers of new mariners. We still enjoy the support of various organisations within the shipping and maritime industry for which we remain enormously grateful and benefit from strong support of our Governors many of whom enjoyed long and distinguished careers in the maritime industry.
The current 6th form continues to flourish in conjunction with our football academy partners attracting pupils from pan London and the boys in years 7 to 11 still wear a Nautical themed school uniform but alas not the “square rig” of years gone by.
2003
Sixth Form
The latest addition to the school was in 2003 when our sixth form block was built at the same time as the school gave up some of its land to the North that originally formed the footprint of the Unitarian Chapel for development.

In 2018 the school teamed up with Volenti Football Academy to create an academic pathway that would combine with the aspirations of young men to become professional football players.
 
1937
Galleywall Road School
By 1937 the nautical training section of Rotherhithe New Road School had outgrown its premises and the “Rotherhithe Nautical School” became a separate institution which moved to Galleywall Road School in Rotherhithe. The stay at Galleywall was just six months before moving onto Silwood Street also in Rotherhithe.
1937
Silwood Road School
Standing between New Cross and London Bridge Stations Silwood Street School was almost directly behind the school’s first location at Rotherhithe New Road and hosted the school from 1937 to 1939. This site provided much needed additional space for the school with two full floors of classroom space and two yards, large and small – preferable to sharing with the under eleven pupils at Rotherhithe New Road. Headteacher Mr TJ Stead lamented the move from Rotherhithe New Road principally because of the lost benefit to the pupils of being adjacent to Surrey Commercial Docks and of no longer being able to see the ships at port.
 
1939 - 1945
Inter War Years
The school was evacuated during the conflict of WW2, to Newquay in Wales, during which time the Silwood Street site was bombed on the 7th September 1940, the shell of the building remaining visible till the 1950's

1946 - 1947
Comber Grove
Briefly following the war the school moved to Comber Grove in Camberwell (1946-1947) still known as the Rotherhithe Nautical School a name it retained after 1946 when located on Broadwall as the seminal School Bulletins (newsletters) record. The archive of School Bulletins first record the use of the name London Nautical School on its Easter 1948 edition, but retained “Rotherhithe” in brackets – somewhere between Easter of 1950 and Summer of 1950 the “Rotherhithe“ was dropped from the Bulletin header and the school became known as the London Nautical School. Comber Grove school is still in existence today.
 
1946
Broadwall
Toward the latter part of the 1940’s the amalgamation of the Rotherhithe Nautical School and the School of Engineering and Navigation (SEN) took place. The pupils from SEN in Poplar came to be schooled with the boys from Rotherhithe Nautical School in an old primary school on on Broadwall SE1.

The John Rennie School on Broadwall was built in 1876 following the purchase of land and properties in both Hatfields and on Broadwall by the LLC and named after the famous engineer and denizen of Stamford Street. The School Board of London was the elected body that was set up after the passing of the 1870 Education Act made it compulsory for all children to attend school from age five to thirteen. The Board employed their own architect, Thomas J. Bailey who designed many of these schools and numerous examples of his work stand today, but unfortunately not the John Rennie Primary School.
It was closed as a primary school in 1939; but then was used as a fire station during the Second World War (and still contained stables). The London Nautical School moved into this building in the summer of 1946 during a time of a post war shortage of suitable buildings. The role was expected to be 250 pupils.
Around this time, with Mr FJ Fuest taking his Headship the school yard had been equipped with a boat deck, davits with lifeboat, a mast and derrick and also a spar for the breeches buoy.