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Swavesey: Education

Page 397

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

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Citation:

Education

There seems usually to have been a schoolmaster, sometimes the curate and more often than not licensed, between 1579 and 1628. (fn. 1) None is known in the later 17th or earlier 18th century. The trustees of Galon's charity built a schoolroom in 1757, perhaps the school at which some poor children were taught at parish expense in 1789, (fn. 2) but certainly disused and let as cottages by the 1830s. (fn. 3) There was allegedly no school in 1783. (fn. 4) One of the four day schools attended by 97 children in 1818 (fn. 5) was perhaps that run by John Gilbey c. 1830. (fn. 6) Thomas Mortlock apparently opened a British school in 1825. (fn. 7) In the early 1830s 37 boys and 43 girls attended three day schools, and the vicar ran a Sunday school for 70 boys and 70 girls. (fn. 8) A school near Turnbridge was allegedly opened in 1840 by John Metcalfe, (fn. 9) who was still teaching in 1857 (fn. 10) and ran a commercial academy from 1858 or earlier to the mid 1870s or later. (fn. 11)

In 1840 a plot on the west side of Middle Watch was allotted for a National schoolroom. (fn. 12) The school, for 100 boys and 100 girls, was opened in 1844 (fn. 13) and was extended in 1847-8 on land of the former Galon's charity school; the extension provided extra classrooms and houses for the master and mistress. (fn. 14) Almost half the income in 1847 was from school pence; (fn. 15) 77 boys and 75 girls then attended. (fn. 16) In the later 1860s an average of 78 boys and 67 girls attended in summer, 94 boys and 70 girls in winter. (fn. 17) An infants' school was added in 1876. (fn. 18) Attendance fell from 200 in 1884 to 183 in 1894 and 124, of whom 42 were infants, in 1906. (fn. 19) It was 116 in 1927. (fn. 20) The school was transferred to the county council in 1935 and replaced in 1936 or 1937 by a new junior and infants' school on the east side of Middle Watch for 160 children; 111 attended in 1938. (fn. 21) There were 144 children c. 1973 (fn. 22) and 162 in 1977. (fn. 23) The school was still open in 1987.

The county council opened a village college west of Middle Watch in 1958 to serve 10 parishes; there were 730 children on the roll in 1986. (fn. 24)

Footnotes

  • 1. Proc. C.A.S. lxx. 182-3; C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/17, f. 98; B 2/23, f. 46.
  • 2. Cambs. Local Hist. Counc. Bull. xxviii. 18.
  • 3. 31st Rep. Com. Char. 258.
  • 4. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 7/1, p. 90.
  • 5. Educ. of Poor Digest, 65.
  • 6. Countryman, summer 1955, 293-300.
  • 7. D. Williams, 'Swavesey in 19th cent.' (TS. in Cambs. Colln.); cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/6.
  • 8. Educ. Enq. Abstract, 61.
  • 9. Williams, 'Swavesey in 19th cent.'
  • 10. Swavesey Chron. 37.
  • 11. Cambs. Local Hist. Counc. Bull. xxviii. 21 (giving dates 1861-83); Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1858, 1875); no mention ibid. (1879 and later edns.); P.R.O., ED 21/1589, mins. 18513/74, 18971/74.
  • 12. C.U.L., Q/RDc 56.
  • 13. Swavesey Chron. 11-12; Gardner's Dir. Cambs. (1851).
  • 14. Char. Digest Cambs. 1863-4, 34-5; Wilson, 'Hist. Swavesey', 48; C.R.O., 391/P 65.
  • 15. P.R.O., ED 7/5, no. 114.
  • 16. Mins. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1847-8[998], pp. 44- 5, H.C. (1847-8), 1.
  • 17. 1st Rep. Com. Employment in Agric. 346-7.
  • 18. P.R.O., ED 21/1589, H. J. Sharp to Sec., 4, 19 Sept. 1876.
  • 19. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1884-5[C. 4483-1], p. 524, H.C. (1884-5), xxiii; 1894-5[C. 7776-1], p. 795, H.C. (1895), xxvii; Public Elem. Schs. 1906[Cd. 3182], p. 29, H.C. (1906), lxxxvi.
  • 20. Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1927(H.M.S.O.), 17.
  • 21. Ibid. 1936, 18; 1938, 20; K. Duchin, 'What were the influences on S. E. Urwin, Cambs. County Architect, 1934- 39', 8 (TS. in Cambs. Colln.); Town Crier, 28 Feb. 1987.
  • 22. Swavesey Draft Village Plan(1973) (copy in Cambs. Colln.).
  • 23. Camb. Ind. Press, 28 Apr. 1977.
  • 24. Swavesey & Fen Drayton Inf. Booklet; Swavesey Village Coll.: Opening Ceremony 14 Nov. 1958, 12 (copy in Cambs. Colln.).