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Wiltshire Community History

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Buttermere - Early Schools, Buttermere

The earliest evidence of a school in Buttermere is for a Sunday school that was started by the rector in 1833. It probably offered general education for adults rather than religious teaching for children and was attended by thirteen males and eighteen females. A national report compiled in 1846 noted that there was a school in Buttermere attended by thirteen children. This may have been the dame school that was recorded in Warburton’s report in 1859, when pupil numbers were the same. His notes say ‘[the] parish consists of some farm houses and a few cottages and barns, perched on the top of one of the highest chalk downs in England. Ten to fifteen children are taught by a dame in her cottage’. A visitation return to the Bishop of Salisbury dated 1864, stated that there was no school in Buttermere. An attempt had been made to open one, but the preference at the time was that the small number of children requiring elementary schooling should go to the school at Fosbury in Tidcombe. The resistance to a school in the parish was still evident in 1871, when the children attended Fosbury or neighbouring Ham.
 

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