Theydon Garnon: School

Pages 273-274

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

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In 1818 the parish clerk and his wife kept a school at Theydon Garnon, which was attended by 20 boys and 26 girls. Six of these children attended as the result of a grant from Baker's Charity (see Charities, below) and the fees of seventeen others were paid by benevolent persons. (fn. 1) This was still the only day school in the parish in 1839, when 12 boys and 14 girls attended it. The decline in attendance was probably due to increased educational provision at Theydon Mount and Epping. By that time there was also a Sunday school at Theydon Garnon. (fn. 2) In 1846-7 there were 15 boys and 15 girls at the parish clerk's school. He and an assistant mistress received £27 a year between them. (fn. 3)

In 1850 Harriet Archer-Houblon of Coopersale House (see above) built a National School and teacher's house at Coopersale. During the following years she contributed much of the school's income and took a personal interest in its work. (fn. 4) The Vicar of Coopersale also supervised the school and local Anglicans contributed to its support. (fn. 5) The school was immediately successful. In 1858-9 it had an average attendance of 88 and was described by an inspector as 'a fair village school'. (fn. 6) By 1871 attendance was over 100. (fn. 7) It continued to rise and in 1879 Miss Archer-Houblon enlarged the school at a cost of £300 to provide total accommodation for 180 pupils. In 1880 average attendance was 117. (fn. 8) The annual government grant rose from £37 in 1873 to £128 in 1902. (fn. 9)

In 1891 the school was placed under the management of the Rector and churchwardens of Theydon Garnon, the Vicar and churchwardens of Coopersale, and three subscribers belonging to the Church of England, and the National Society became the owner in trust, the deed requiring that religious teaching should be according to Anglican principles. (fn. 10) By the Education Act, 1902, the school passed under the administration of the Essex Education Committee, Epping District, as a non-provided school. Attendance was 155 in 1904, and there was a staff of 4 teachers, a probationer, and a monitress. (fn. 11) In 1910 the school was further enlarged, but by 1926 average attendance had fallen to 100. There was a further decrease after the school had been reorganized in 1932 for mixed juniors and infants. (fn. 12) In 1938 there were only 67 pupils but in 1942 the children from Theydon Mount were transferred to Theydon Garnon after the closure of their school. In May 1952 there were 157 pupils and 4 teachers at Theydon Garnon. In view of financial difficulties the managers have applied for controlled status. (fn. 13) The school is single-storied, of red brick with a tile roof. It bears the date 1850. A two-storied teacher's house is attached. In the playground is a prefabricated building added in 1948. (fn. 14)


  • 1. Retns. Educ. Poor, H.C. 224, p. 273 (1819), ix (1).
  • 2. E.R.O., D/P 30/28/19.
  • 3. Nat. Soc. Enquiry into Ch. Schs. 1846- 7, pp. 18-19.
  • 4. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1899).
  • 5. Inf. from Mr. Temple, Headmaster of the school; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1870).
  • 6. Reps. on Schs. in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, 1858-9, p. 19 (in Min. of Educ. Libr.).
  • 7. Retns. Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, pp. 110-11 (1871), lv.
  • 8. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1899); Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1880 [C. 2948-1], p. 579, H.C. (1881), xxxii.
  • 9. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1873 [C. 1019], p. 325, H.C. (1874), xviii; Schs. under Bd. of Educ. 1902 [Cd. 1490], p. 74, H.C. (1903), li.
  • 10. Min. of Educ. File 13/366.
  • 11. Essex Educ. Cttee. Handbk. 1904, p. 151.
  • 12. Min. of Educ. File 13/366; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1922).
  • 13. Inf. from Essex Educ. Cttee.
  • 14. Inf. from Mr. Temple.