Looking back on seven decades at Holt Hall

A scene from a VW camper van festival at Holt Hall. Picture: Colin Finch

A scene from a VW camper van festival at Holt Hall. Picture: Colin Finch - Credit: Colin Finch

It has been part of the education of generations of Norfolk children - providing a welcome respite from the usual classroom and school activities.

Pupils learn to use weather equipment at Holt Hall in 1992. Picture: Archant Library

Pupils learn to use weather equipment at Holt Hall in 1992. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

And this year marks the 70th anniversary of the opening of Holt Hall environmental and outdoor learning centre.

Holt Hall was the first residential co-educational school to be opened by an education authority in England, with the first coach-load of pupils arriving on April 17, 1950.

The following day, the Eastern Daily Press reported: “Yesterday Holt Hall welcomed the first pupils of a new type of school – the only school of its kind in the country.

“The aim is to make the children self-reliant and they will be encouraged to do as much as possible for themselves and for each other”.

The Fairyland Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Fairy Fair at Holt Hall in 2011. Pictured

The Fairyland Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Fairy Fair at Holt Hall in 2011. Pictured is Willow Rose in the bluebells. Picture: Adrian Judd - Credit: Archant


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But a question mark now hangs over the future of Holt Hall, as Norfolk County Council have launched a consultation over whether to sell the property.

Sheringham's Woodfields School Sixth Form Centre students, Keara Dougan and William Graham, planing

Sheringham's Woodfields School Sixth Form Centre students, Keara Dougan and William Graham, planing garlic bulbs as part of a 'Roots and Shoots' day at Holt Hall in 2012. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Holt Hall, pictured in 2012. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Holt Hall, pictured in 2012. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

An 'Airhotel' at Holt Hall in 2012 was part of an experimential overnight outdoor event. Performer A

An 'Airhotel' at Holt Hall in 2012 was part of an experimential overnight outdoor event. Performer Anton Van Havermout as Bassong makes his way up to one of the suspended hotel rooms. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

The Fairyland Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Fairy Fair at Holt Hall in 2011. Emma Pur

The Fairyland Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Fairy Fair at Holt Hall in 2011. Emma Purnell, left, and Lucy Thurgood made potions at the event. Picture: Adrian Judd - Credit: Colin Finch

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, on a visit to Holt Hall in 1963. Picture: Archant Library

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, on a visit to Holt Hall in 1963. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Youngsters at play at Holt Hall in 1988. Picture: Archant Library

Youngsters at play at Holt Hall in 1988. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Holt Hall, 1995. Picture: Archant Library

Holt Hall, 1995. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

A lesson front of one of them new-fangled computer machines at Holt Hall in May 1992. Picture: Archa

A lesson front of one of them new-fangled computer machines at Holt Hall in May 1992. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Holt Hall, pictured around 1945. Picture: Archant Library

Holt Hall, pictured around 1945. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Peter Lown, of Lowestoft, and Roger Booth, of King's Lynn, taking part in an endevour course at Hol

Peter Lown, of Lowestoft, and Roger Booth, of King's Lynn, taking part in an endevour course at Holt Hall, picture dated January 6, 1964. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Emma Knights and Oli Franzen outside the AirHotel's El Ambassador pod at Holt Hall in 2012.. Picture

Emma Knights and Oli Franzen outside the AirHotel's El Ambassador pod at Holt Hall in 2012.. Picture: Emma Knights - Credit: Archant

Oli Franzen climbs up to the Lotus room at AirHotel at Holt Hall in 2012. Picture: Emma Knights

Oli Franzen climbs up to the Lotus room at AirHotel at Holt Hall in 2012. Picture: Emma Knights - Credit: Archant

The Fairyland Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Fairy Fair at Holt Hall in 2011. This pic

The Fairyland Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Fairy Fair at Holt Hall in 2011. This picture shows children meeting the Fairy Queen. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Emilia Butcher-Marroqui and Andrew Butcher do a bit of pond dipping at Holt Hall in 2015. Picture: M

Emilia Butcher-Marroqui and Andrew Butcher do a bit of pond dipping at Holt Hall in 2015. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

The Fairyland trust's Real Halloween event at Holt Hall in 2015. Ruby Harvey, Maggie Richmond and El

The Fairyland trust's Real Halloween event at Holt Hall in 2015. Ruby Harvey, Maggie Richmond and Ellie Richmond enjoying the festival. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Children dress as evacuees for an event at Holt Hall in 2005. Picture: Steve Adams

Children dress as evacuees for an event at Holt Hall in 2005. Picture: Steve Adams - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.

Children dress as evacuees for an event at Holt Hall in 2005. Picture: Steve Adams

Children dress as evacuees for an event at Holt Hall in 2005. Picture: Steve Adams - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.

A mock accident being staged at Holt Hall as part of St John Ambulance training in 1986. Picture: Ar

A mock accident being staged at Holt Hall as part of St John Ambulance training in 1986. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

West Runton Scouts in action during the trek cart challenge at the Norfolk Youth Service presentatio

West Runton Scouts in action during the trek cart challenge at the Norfolk Youth Service presentation day at the Holt Hall on July 8, 1967. Picture: Archant Library

The Duke of Kent, right, talks to Mike Roper, centre, head of outdoor centres for Educator Solutions

The Duke of Kent, right, talks to Mike Roper, centre, head of outdoor centres for Educator Solutions, and Ben Grange, grounds manager, about the Hall, during his visit to Holt Hall Environmental & Outdoor Learning Centre in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

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