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Wiltshire Community History

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Mere - Duchy Manor Secondary School, Mere

When the British and Church of England schools merged in 1922 the buildings of the church school became Mere Senior School accommodating children from 11 to 14 years. A new school was promised in 1938 but plans for this were interupted by the Second World War. In 1944 the school became Mere Secondary Modern School and children who passed the 11+ examination went to Gillingham Grammar School in Dorset. The school at Mere was still in the old National School building and the Grove Building, on either side of Barton Lane, with a mobile classroom in the churchyard. In 1947 children continued at school until they were 15 as the school leaving age was raised nationally.

The new school, promised in 1938, finally came into being in the 1960s. A site was leased from the Duchy of Cornwall and the foundation stone laid in 1964. The school was in use from September 1965 and was officially opened in July 1966. As it was on Duchy land it was named Duchy Manor Secondary School and was well equipped and possessed extensive playing fields. A swimming pool was built with money from the Town Swimming Pool Fund and other contributors. In 1972 the schools in this area were reorganised into a three tier system and the school became a middle school for children aged from 9 to 13 years. At 13 they transferred to the comprehensive school at Gillingham. Further information can be found under the heading Duchy Manor Middle School.

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Duchy Manor Secondary School, Mere
Duchy Manor Secondary School, MereImage Date: 2003
Image Details: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham
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