150 years: Bell Street State School

Learn about the history of Bell Street State School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

Bell Street, Fitzroy, 3065
1 January 1855
1 June 1928
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Bell Street National School, Fitzroy (Bell Street) State School

The history of Bell Street State School

  • 1855

    Bell Street was opened by Robert Bell as a national school.

    Bell, who was 22, was helped by his wife.

    The initial enrolment was 83 (43 boys and 40 girls).

    The school's patron, Benjamin F. Kane, laid the school building's foundation stone.

    The school buildings included two brick four-room cottages and a terrace of three stone houses.

  • 1873

    The school was sold to the newly formed Department of Education.

    It became a state school from July, combining with Fitzroy.

  • 1890s

    In 1892 the school combined with Napier Street State School (No. 2511).

    Napier became an adjunct of Bell Street. This meant the students from Napier had to go to Bell Street for classes.

    The roles were reversed in 1899. Napier Street became the lead school and students from Bell Street had to go to Napier Street for classes.

  • 1901

    A new site for the school was bought.

    The new site had frontages on both Bell Street and Victoria Street.

  • 1910

    A school building was built on the new site in 1910 and the school moved.

    The new building included a large hall, offices and classrooms.

    The old school building became a special school.

  • 1926

    Third grade students class portrait in front of Bell Street State School building in 1926.
  • 1928

    The school closed in January 1928 and the students transferred to other local schools.

    The buildings were renovated and opened as the Fitzroy Domestic Arts School later that year.

Can you help us find records for this school?

The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) doesn't have any historical records for this closed school. If you have any, or if you know of any, please let us know by emailing 150years@education.vic.gov.au