Spen Valley pioneered state education with this National School for boys and girls, which opened in 1818, a legacy of the Reverend Hammond Roberson. Reverend Roberson was a leading local establishment figure. He funded the building of nearby Liversedge (C of E) Church and five other (similarly-designed) National Schools, and is said to have been the model for the thunderous Rev. Matthew Helstone in Charlotte Bronte's novel Shirley. The National School building is Listed Grade II and was restored from ruinous condition in 2006 and converted into apartments. Across Halifax Road, at the junction with Knowler Hill, is Sparrow Park where you'll find more information about children's lives in the early 1800's. This black-and-white photo of the school was taken in 1912.