Abbess Roding: School

Page 197

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4, Ongar Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.



In 1807 there was no school in the parish. The rector wished to establish one because he thought that the children of the poor were unruly and in need of training but he had found the village too poor and the local landowners too indifferent to support one. (fn. 1) There was still no school in 1818. (fn. 2) Between 1818 and 1832 local Anglicans succeeded in establishing a Sunday school and a day school which for many years remained closely connected. By 1832-3 there were 36 pupils at the day school. Parishioners then subscribed towards its expenses, but by 1846-7 the rector alone seems to have maintained the school, paying the mistress £6 a year and providing her with board and lodging. The number of pupils was then 50. (fn. 3)

In 1858 Capel Cure, the patron of the church, provided a new school building with accommodation for 34 children. It remained his property and he and his heirs appointed the school managers for many years. In 1871 an inspector reported that to ensure universal elementary education in Abbess Roding 10 more places were needed than were available at the school but that these were vacant at Beauchamp Roding. (fn. 4) In 1888 the Abbess Roding school was enlarged to take all local children. (fn. 5) In 1893 its accommodation was estimated at 65 and average attendance was 54. (fn. 6) In 1904 there were 56 pupils and 2 teachers. (fn. 7)

Under the Education Act 1902 the school passed under the administration of the Essex Education Committee, Ongar District. Beauchamp Roding children attended at Abbess Roding after their own school had been closed in 1923. (fn. 8) By 1930, however, attendance had fallen to 36 and in 1937 the school was reorganized for mixed juniors and infants, the seniors going to the new central school at Ongar. In 1947 the Abbess Roding school was closed because the County Council found it impossible to bring the existing site and premises up to a proper standard. The children were transferred to the Fyfield and White Roding schools. (fn. 9)

The school building is now a private residence. It is single-storied, of red brick with a tiled roof. The former teacher's house, a two-story building, is attached.


  • 1. E.R.O., D/AEM 2/4.
  • 2. Retns. Educ. Poor, H.C. 224, p. 266 (1819), ix (1).
  • 3. Nat. Soc. Rep. 1832, p. 77; Educ. Enquiry Abstr. H.C. 62, p. 287 (1835),xli; Nat. Soc. Enquiry into Ch. Schs.1846-7, pp. 16-17.
  • 4. Min. of Educ. File 13/2.
  • 5. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1899), 310.
  • 6. Retn. of Schs. 1893 [C. 7529], p. 712, H.C. (1894), lxv.
  • 7. Essex Educ. Cttee. Handbk. 1904, p. 183.
  • 8. Min. of Educ. File 13/16.
  • 9. Ibid. 13/2; inf. from Essex Educ. Cttee. and the Revd. R. T. K. Griffin.