Wivenhoe: Education

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.

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'Wivenhoe: Education', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe, ed. Janet Cooper( London, 2001), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol10/p294 [accessed 22 July 2024].

'Wivenhoe: Education', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Edited by Janet Cooper( London, 2001), British History Online, accessed July 22, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol10/p294.

"Wivenhoe: Education". A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Ed. Janet Cooper(London, 2001), , British History Online. Web. 22 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol10/p294.


In 1588 an 'unlawful' school- teacher was recorded. (fn. 1) A charity school, started in 1718 for 10 boys and 5 girls, still existed in 1724. (fn. 2) Two schoolmasters were recorded in the 1760s; one, John Potter, by will proved 1763, left £2 to educate two poor boys. (fn. 3) A small pri- vate day school was recorded in 1833 and there were nine in 1839, attended by c. 200 children; weekly fees ranged from 1d. to 1s. (fn. 4) Private schools were also recorded in 1844 and 1845. (fn. 5) Of two schools for young ladies recorded in 1866, one survived in 1922. (fn. 6) Seven private ven- ture schools were recorded in 1871 (fn. 7) and one in 1886. (fn. 8)

In 1814 a Sunday and day school for 28 chil- dren was established in one room of a small cottage. It was supported by voluntary contri- butions, children's pence, and the proceeds of the sale of girls' handwork. Two rooms were used in 1818 and were very overcrowded. (fn. 9) By 1839 the schools were in union with the National Society. In 1848 a new schoolhouse, built in the Elizabethan style, opened in High Street; c. 250 children were enrolled. The school, which re- ceived regular government grants, was enlarged to hold 380 in three separate departments in 1874. (fn. 10) In 1888, because of lack of funds, it was transferred to the control of a school board. (fn. 11) The girls' and infants' departments moved into a new building in Phillip Road in 1891 and the schools together could then accommodate 667 pupils; the average attendance was 330. (fn. 12) The girls' and infants' departments amalgamated in 1924. In 1936, when the senior boys were transferred to Brightlingsea and the junior boys to Phillip Road, the school was reorganized as a mixed and infants' school; it was reorganized again for juniors and infants in 1939. (fn. 13) When the Broom- grove county infants' and county junior schools were built, respectively, in 1966 and 1971 off Heath Road in the north-west of the parish, (fn. 14) the children transferred from the Phillip Road site which became the Wivenhoe Centre and was used by the county for youth and community purposes. (fn. 15) Millfields primary school opened in 1981 in Bowes Road as a county school for chil- dren from the east side of Wivenhoe; it became grant-maintained in 1993. (fn. 16)

A Nonconformist schoolroom for 20 pupils opened behind West Street in 1807. (fn. 17) In 1833 it had 130 boys who each paid 1d. a week, and it was maintained by subscriptions and donations. On Sundays 130 boys and 70 girls attended free of charge. Teaching was by the Lancasterian method. (fn. 18) In 1839 only the Sunday school was recorded, with 60 pupils; there were 100 in 1841. (fn. 19) In 1847 John Sandford built a school- room for 250 behind the newly-built Congre- gational church on the corner of West Street and Quay Street. The school closed in 1853 and re-opened in the chapel vestry in 1856. (fn. 20) It apparently continued in 1866, but was not recorded in 1870. (fn. 21)


  • 1. F. G. Emmison, Elizabethan Life: Morals and the Church Courts, 66.
  • 2. S.P.C.K. Annual Rep. 1724.
  • 3. E.R.O., D/ACR 364, f. 16; ibid. D/DEt M13.
  • 4. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, p. 296; E.R.O., D/P 30/28/19.
  • 5. E.C.S. 5 Jan. 1844; P.O. Dir. Essex (1845).
  • 6. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1866-1922).
  • 7. Return Elementary Educ. 1871, H.C. 201, p. 446 (1871), lv.
  • 8. P.R.O., ED 2/176.
  • 9. Digest of Returns Educ. Poor, H.C. 224, p. 277 (1819), ix(i).
  • 10. E.R.O., D/P 30/28/19; Nat. Soc. file; E.C.S. 14 Aug. 1874.
  • 11. P.R.O., ED 2/176.
  • 12. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1891-2, [C.6746-1], p. 627, H.C. (1892), xxviii.
  • 13. E.C.C. Schools Ledger.
  • 14. E.C.C. List of Schools (1966-1971).
  • 15. E.R.O., C/ME 65 C6.
  • 16. E.C.C. List of Schools (1981); inf. from school.
  • 17. E.R.O., Acc. C271 (uncat.), Box 1, Congregational Ch. Bk. 1808-27.
  • 18. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, p. 296.
  • 19. E.R.O., D/P 30/28/19; ibid. D/ACM 12.
  • 20. Gordon, Wivenhoe Congregational Ch. 30-4.
  • 21. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1866, 1870).