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Winterslow National School

Winterslow National School Date Photo Taken 2008
Uploaded 23/12/2008 17:03:42
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Map Latitude 51.093759289308196 : Longitude -1.6621863842010498
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

In 1833, during the Rectorship of Matthew Marsh, a small school was erected on land in Middle Winterslow given by Henry Richard, Lord Holland. The National Society for promoting the Education of the Poor and the Principles of the Established church throughout England and Wales provided £40 towards the cost of the building, St. John's College contributed £20, and further funds were received from voluntary contributions. The school was to accommodate 50 infants. A board still hanging on a wall in the modern primary school records the names of the subscribers to the early school.

In 1856, during the Rectorship of Edward Luard who was responsible for the rebuilding of the church, a new school building was erected; again the land was donated by Lord Holland. Mr. F.T. Egerton of Roche Court provided the funds for the school building, and the master's house was paid for by subscriptions from Lord Holland, the Rector, the public and St. John's College. The builder was Robert Robinson of Broughton.

The opening of the school, by the Bishop of Sarum, was reported in the Salisbury Journal. The deeds state that the school was for "the education of children and adults or children only of the labouring manufacturing and other poorer classes" according to the principles of the National Society. By 1858 the school was known as Winterslow National School.

In 1859 the school was inspected for the first time. The inspector noted the "excellent" school-room and teacher's residence and indicated that there were some 140 children on roll. Of these children some would have walked from other parishes where schools did not exist. The inspector also noted that a dame school was operating in a cottage, where 20 children were taught.

In the 1860s an evening school and a Sunday school (at which attendance was compulsory unless parents objected on religious grounds) were also in operation on the new school premises.

In 1916, 2,361 free school meals were served in the Parish Hall. These were prepared by the Headmaster's wife, Mrs. Witt, and paid for by Mr. Clough of Middleton Manor.

In May 1940 the Headteacher was informed that the school would be required to take in some 40 - 80 children evacuated from Portsmouth. The staff proceeded to explore premises in Winterslow which could possibly be used as classrooms. At the end of June 1940 the school staff, together with the two male teachers who would accompany the evacuees, met to finalise arrangements for the intake - in the event 45 children. Very crowded conditions were the inevitable result. Now there would be five classes, one of which would use the Parish Hall in Middle Winterslow. By July 1944 only a small number of evacuated children remained in the school.

After the War, in 1946, the school kitchen was built, although the Parish Hall continued to be used as the school dining room. Later information can be found under Winterslow C. of E. Aided Primary School

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