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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In the 1390s some Crowlands villeins were putting their sons to school, sometimes at Cambridge. (fn. 1) Schoolmasters were thrice recorded between 1583 and 1609 and twice in the 1660s, (fn. 2) and one in 1685. (fn. 3) In 1728 there was said to be £2 a year to educate four poor children. (fn. 4) Elizabeth March's will permitted the children of her endowed school's Oakington tenants to be taught free at Histon. (fn. 5) In 1807 parents and children alike were described as extremely ignorant. (fn. 6) The next vicar, Thomas Webster, started and supported a Sunday school, which had 80 pupils by 1818, who by 1825 learnt to read and spell, and 87 by 1833. A fee-paying boys' school, opened in 1817, had initially 35 pupils, but only 20 by 1833. From 1830 the vicar sponsored an infants' day school, partly maintained by subscriptions, which taught 55 children by 1833; of three others with altogether c. 40 children, one begun in 1832 for girls took boarders and was entirely paid for by the parents. (fn. 7)
Until the 1840s a day school was apparently kept at the west end of the church. (fn. 8) After 1834 H. J. Adeane gave a site off Coles Lane upon which the vicar built and opened in 1837 a tworoomed school for 100 children. A teacher's house was added c. 1843. (fn. 9) The buildings were occupied by 1846 by National day schools for boys and girls, with 64 pupils taught by a local man and his wife. (fn. 10) There was an average attendance of 60 out of 83 pupils in 1862, when the vicar paid a quarter of the annual cost. (fn. 11)
By 1869 the building was in poor condition, and a new school with two rooms was put up on Water Lane and opened in 1871, (fn. 12) to hold 200 pupils. The 70 who attended in 1875 were taught by a young uncertificated mistress. (fn. 13) It remained a church school, but the farmers were still contributing to its expenses in 1873, and the vicar, although not teaching there, found no difficulty in maintaining it into the 1890s. (fn. 14) Attendance was c. 80 from the early 1880s to 1900, and after rising to 98 in 1910 remained over 80 until after 1920. (fn. 15) Numbers later fell to 55 in 1938. (fn. 16) In 1958 the older pupils were sent to Impington village college. (fn. 17) The church primary school, enlarged from 70 to 120 places in 1973-4, (fn. 18) was still open in 1985.