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Wiltshire Community History

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Great Cheverell - Townsend's Charity School, Great Cheverell

James Townsend, who died in 1730, left a cottage to anyone willing to teach six poor children living in Great Cheverell. Anyone taking the post would also received the rent from one acre of land in Marston, and be allowed to take 100 willow or ash faggots for firewood a year from trees Townsend had planted on Great Cheverell Common. A schoolteacher was found and the school continued into the 19th century although it lapsed for some years late in the 18th century. The schoolhouse was repaired in 1783 when three charity children were sent there and the rector paid for another 20 children to be taught. In 1802 the rights to firewood for the teacher were exchanged for an acre of land in the marsh. By 1808 60 children, in addition to the charity children, were being taught. In 1818 34 children were attending the school and the teacher's income from the two acres of land was £3.10.0d (£3.50) a year. The school was in a cottage adjoining the western end of The Bell. It was let as a house in 1834 and the parish clerk was teaching reading, writing and the catechism to 40 boys and girls whose parents paid small fees, as well as the six charity children. The rector also helped with the upkeep of the school.

In 1844 the rector, R. M. Atkinson, conveyed a small area of glebe land for a school site. A school was built with the aid of a £50 grant and the income from Townsend's charity used to help run the school. The school was united with the National Society and managed by the rector and the archdeacon of Wiltshire. Further information can be found under Board School, Great Cheverell.
 

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Townsend's Charity School, Great Cheverell
 
Townsend's Charity School, Great CheverellImage Date: 2004
Image Details: Michael Marshman
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Townsend's Charity School, Great Cheverell
 
Townsend's Charity School, Great CheverellImage Date: 2004
Image Details: Michael Marshman
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