Our History

Alderman William Smith, the first Mayor and a great benefactor of Brighouse created the Smith Foundation Trust on the 5th September 1916.  He bought the Boothroyd Estate for the Trust to set up an orphanage for girls.  On his death in 1922 he left the bulk of the estate to the Trust - money that would have gone to his cousin's adopted son William Henry Smith, who unhappily was killed in the 1914-18 war.

The orphanage opened in July 1920 for girls but soon admitted boys and changed its name to Smith's Homes.  The Homes continued for nearly 40 years.  During the 1939-45 war they admitted girls from the Sailor's Orphan Home in Hull.

The Trustees were forced to reconsider the role of the Trust post war.  A revised scheme for the Trust in 1951 gave authority for the trustees to make grants to Special Schools and establish Special Schools.  Grants were made to Chaigeley and Breckenborough Schools.

In 1952 Holly Bank School was opened by the Trust who continued to be responsible for it until 1998 when a separate Holly Bank Trust was set up.

The last of the children from the Homes left in 1959 and in September 1961 a residential Special School for boys, named after William Henry Smith, was opened on the site by the Trust.

The clock tower used as the school's logo was the first part of the alterations to be completed after the Boothroyd building had been handed back to the Trustees in 1919 after being used as a War Hospital.  The foundation stone of the tower was laid on Good Friday 18th April 1919 and it was completed in eight months on the 9th December.  The clock tower is some 50ft high and has three dials, each 5ft in diameter.