Museum is keen to house 
historic stone

jpco-27-3-13 Sarah Robinson Stone Plaque  (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-27-3-13 Sarah Robinson Stone Plaque (Pic by Jon Rigby)

The discovery of a stone bearing the name of educational pioneer Sarah Robinson has peaked the town’s interest.

The stone was found by staff at Asda in a loading yard - with someconcerned it was a grave marker.

Recognising it as a piece of Crawley history, they were keen to rehouse it.

Mrs Robinson, a Quaker, was responsible for the building of two schools in Crawley in the 1800s for children of all denominations.

Helen Poole, curator of Crawley Museum, said the museum would be happy to give the stone a new home.

She added: “Our chair, Gillian Pitt, is an authority on Sarah Robinson who was a very remarkable woman and did a great deal for Crawley.

“As the article says, this stone is a memorial to her, rather than her gravestone, which would be a bit flash for a good Quaker.

“We should like to look after it for posterity in memory of a splendid Crawley lady.”

Asda worker Jan Gammon, who reported the find to the Observer, was contacted last week by a former teacher who said he was one of the people who carved the stone.

Michael Barnett, 83, now lives in Toronto, Canada, but was back in Crawley for a visit.

Jan said: “He said it was a school project and there were quite a lot of people involved with it, including pupils.

“He said the stone was placed somewhere along Robinson Road.”

Darren Stevens, of Climping Road, Ifield, also recognised the stone. But he remembered seeing it elsewhere - and had the pictures to prove it.

His picture shows the original Ifield Community College and the stone can be clearly seen embedded in the wall- although it was a lot cleaner in those days! Darren, who described himself as “a bit of a Sarah Robinson historian”, was a pupil at the school between 1989 and 1993.

He said: “When they were knocking down the original Ifield Community College in July 2005, the stone was outside the bottom hall, which was known as Sarah Robinson Hall.”

The public has one more chance to view plans to transfer Crawley Museum from Goffs Park to The Tree, on the corner of The Boulevard. The exhibition will be held at Crawley Library on Saturday (April 6) from 9am to midday.

For more details contact Toby Shaw on 01293 438655 or email