Landbeach: Education

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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'Landbeach: Education', in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds, (London, 1989) pp. 155-156. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol9/pp155-156 [accessed 13 April 2024]

Education

Schoolmasters, including in 1581 a B.A., were regularly licensed to teach at Landbeach from 1579 to the early 1590s. (fn. 1) John Gotobed, son of a prominent local yeoman, (fn. 2) served as master from 1610 or earlier to c. 1635. (fn. 3) An M.A. was also licensed to teach boys in 1618. From the 1630s to the 1670s the parish maintained the chapel north of the chancel for use by a school. (fn. 4) Education may then have lapsed, for in 1728 a public school teaching reading and writing had just been erected. (fn. 5) Robert Masters was giving c. £2 a year to a school c. 1760, (fn. 6) perhaps for girls, for there was no boys' school in 1783, (fn. 7) and a cottage that he left in 1797 was to be occupied by a schoolmistress. (fn. 8) In 1807 the rector supervised a private school. (fn. 9)

By 1818, besides two Sunday schools supported as later by the rector, there was a mixed dame school, then with 40 pupils, (fn. 10) but by 1833 only with 22, another, also mixed, having 10. (fn. 11) About 1837 an unendowed boys' school occupied part of the parish clerk's cottage. (fn. 12) By 1846, after reorganization, there were separate church day schools for each sex, each with 25 pupils, taught by a local man and his wife, who were allowed a house. (fn. 13) The school was taught by a master from 1853 to 1860. (fn. 14) In 1869 the mistress's cottage of 1797, probably used as the schoolroom, with a brick cottage built beside it by the then rector, was sold to him by Masters's trustees for building a new schoolroom with a teacher's house, on a piece of glebe south of the rectory. (fn. 15)

The school was threatened with closure in 1873 because the mistress lacked qualifications, but she continued in office from 1866 to the late 1890s. (fn. 16) The school, enlarged c. 1875 to take 80 pupils, was attended in 1873 by c. 75, most of the older pupils being girls. For the older boys there was, as c. 1885, a night school held four evenings a week in winter. The income of the main school, c. £60, came largely from voluntary rates. (fn. 17) Attendance, c. 55 between 1875 and 1890, (fn. 18) often fell below 50 from the mid 1890s, (fn. 19) but rose to 60-70 before 1918, (fn. 20) again dropping below 50 by 1930 and to c. 40 by 1937. (fn. 21) The older children were sent to Impington village college from 1939 and transferred to that at Cottenham in 1963. There were still 40 pupils in 1960, but the village school closed in 1965, the remaining pupils being sent to Waterbeach. (fn. 22) The schoolroom was converted c. 1971 into a house. (fn. 23)

Footnotes

  • 1. C.U.L., E.D.R., D 2/10, f. 17v.; Proc. C.A.S. lxx. 168, listing masters before 1700.
  • 2. Clay, Landbeach, 83.
  • 3. e.g. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/30A; B 2/32, f. 102.
  • 4. e.g. C.R.O., P 104/1/1, chwdns.' accts. s.a. 1639, 1643, 1650, 1675; cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/59A, f. IV.
  • 5. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 8/1, f. 20v.
  • 6. Par. rec., Masters's Collectanea, accts. 1757-63.
  • 7. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 7/1, p. 29.
  • 8. Clay, Landbeach, 43.
  • 9. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/4.
  • 10. Educ. of Poor Digest, 61; cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/6.
  • 11. Educ. Enq. Abstract, 63.
  • 12. 31st Rep. Com. Char. 121.
  • 13. Nat. Soc. Inquiry, Cambs. 1846-7, 6-7; cf. Camb. Chron. 20 Jan. 1849.
  • 14. Camb. Chron. 29 Sept. 1860.
  • 15. C.R.O., P 104/25/11, 25, 30-1, 41; C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/25; cf. Char. Digest Cambs. 1863-4, 396-7.
  • 16. C.R.O., P 104/25/35 (2); P.R.O., ED 7/5; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1869-96).
  • 17. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/25; C 3/31; cf. C.R.O., P 104/8/1, s.a. 1875.
  • 18. P.R.O., ED 7/5; Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1880- 1 [C. 2948-1], p. 543, H.C. (1881), xxxii; 1890-1 [C. 6438- 1], p. 563, H.C. (1890-1), xxvii.
  • 19. Schs. in receipt of Parl. Grants, 1895-6 [C. 8179], p. 23, H.C. (1896), lxv; 1900-1 [Cd. 703], p. 17, H.C. (1901), lv; C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/38, however, gives 58 in 1897.
  • 20. Public Elem. Schs. 1906 [Cd. 3510], p. 56, H.C. (1907), Ixiii; Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1910 (H.M.S.O.), 24; 1919, 16.
  • 21. Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1927, 16; 1936, 17; 1938, 20.
  • 22. Black, Cambs. Educ. Rec. 64; Camb. Ind. Press, 21 Oct. 1960.
  • 23. Camb. Ind. Press, 16 Mar. 1972; Camb. Evening News, 22 July 1975.