Hartlip Endowed Church of England Primary School is believed to be one of the oldest existing voluntary aided schools in the country. The Endowed status exists because of Mary Gibbon.
In the year 1678, Mary Gibbon, in her will, decreed that a school should be built for the children of Hartlip and the surrounding parishes.
Mary Gibbon was a lady from Hartlip. She was married three times and her second husband, Gabriel Salisbury, was a vicar of Hartlip. It is believed that the endowment left was due to this marriage.
The original Hartlip School existed until 1854 and stood on orchard land, which is now the garden of the old vicarage. The present school was built on the Playstool site in 1855 and then was extended in 1906.
Hartlip School continues to benefit from The Mary Gibbon Trust by way of additional resources and facilities which the endowment is able to provide. The Mary Gibbon Trust is an active committee. Hartlip builds on the foundation laid by Mary Gibbon. Through her generosity, and with careful management by the trustees, our school continues to develop and thrive, meeting the challenges of this century with confidence.
In November, Hartlip celebrates the life and legacy of Mary Gibbon with a Founder’s Day with fireworks, food and celebrations. Every year, Year 6 are presented with a very special Mary Gibbon commemorative Bible by the Trustees. They hold a special leaving service which begins by thanking Mary Gibbon at her grave, in the Church Yard.