Langham: Education

Pages 258-259

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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There were no schools in the parish in 1818. (fn. 1) In 1832 the rector built a small schoolroom in the churchyard to educate poor girls in the teachings of the Established Church. (fn. 2) It was conveyed to trustees in 1837 for use as a boys' school. It seems to have continued as a school until 1874 when the board school was enlarged. (fn. 3)

In 1810 there were two Sunday Schools, (fn. 4) the church one with 70 children and a Baptist one with 54 in 1833. In the latter year there were also four day schools, like the Sunday schools all supported by subscription; (fn. 5) one may have been at Mount Pleasant. (fn. 6) In 1841 the church school was also held on weekdays, but numbers had dropped to 22 while those at the Baptist school had risen to c. 70. (fn. 7) In 1850 a British mixed school for 75, recently built with the aid of a government building grant, was the only publicly funded school in the parish. (fn. 8) Control of the school was transferred to a school board established in 1872; the building was enlarged and infants were admitted. The school was maintained by the children's pence, regular government grants, and £2 a year from the Lettice Dykes endowment. In 1897 a 'Jubilee Lending Library' was opened for the children's use with 300-400 books. In 1899 the school had accommodation for 159 mixed children and infants; the average attendance was 99. Between 1909 and 1912 the accommodation was reassessed as suitable for 144, and further improvements were made. (fn. 9) The school was reorganized for infants and juniors in 1946 and senior children were transferred to the St. Helena Secondary school in Colchester. (fn. 10) The school continued in School Road in 1999.

The red-brick schoolhouse of 1850 survives; it was built with a 30 ft. by 20 ft. schoolroom and was extended westwards in 1872. A new porch and cloakroom were added in 1894. (fn. 11) A further extension was made in the 1960s and a new classroom built and the accommodation reorganized in 1994. (fn. 12)

Langham Oaks, also in School Road, was con- verted from a private house and opened by the Home Office in 1943 as an Approved School for c. 65 boys under 13 years of age; it was run under the auspices of the Society of Friends. When it closed in 1956 it was bought by Essex County Council and re-opened as the Homestead, a school for emotionally or behaviourally disturbed boys of 11-16 years. The school continued in 1999. (fn. 13)

By deed dated 1589, Lettice Dykes of East Bergholt (Suff.), gave the proceeds of a house and 32 a. in Langham, East Bergholt, and Colchester to found a free grammar school and to provide £2 a year for the teaching of two poor children from Langham, two from Stratford St. Mary, and six from East Bergholt. The school, Langham Grammar school, apparently continued in a house in East Bergholt between 1685 and 1735. In 1768 Langham received £1 and one child was being educated by the charity. (fn. 14) Langham's share of the charity was apparently lost in the early 19th century but recovered c. 1834 by the rector, who used the £2 a year to help maintain his girls' school. (fn. 15) After 1874 the charity was paid to the Board school. It was regulated by Schemes of 1911 and 1923 and used to help pupils of secondary schools with incidental expenses. Grants were made in 1992 and 1993. (fn. 16)


  • 1. Educ. of Poor Digest, 260.
  • 2. Datestone on schoolroom; above, plate 7.
  • 3. E.R.O., D/P 154/28/2; P.R.O., ED 49/2143.
  • 4. Lamb. Pal. Libr., Fulham papers 4.
  • 5. Educ. Enq. Abstract, 181.
  • 6. Inf. from John Byfield.
  • 7. E.R.O., D/ACM 12.
  • 8. P.R.O., ED 2/168; ED 21/5227. cf. White's Dir. Essex (1863), 140 which dates the school to 1847.
  • 9. P.R.O., ED 21/5227; E.R.O., E/ML 173/1, p. 226; Return of Public Elem. Schs. 1875-6 [C. 1882], p. 71, H.C. (1877), lxvii; Returns Relating to Elem. Educ. 1899 [Cd. 315], p. 342, H.C. (1900), lxv; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1882).
  • 10. E.R.O., C/ME 40, p. 263.
  • 11. Above, plate 46; P.R.O., ED 21/5227; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1882).
  • 12. Inf. from Langham Local Hist. Group.
  • 13. J. Parker, When Yesterday was Today, 25-6; Langham Oaks School: An approved school managed by the Society of Friends, 1943-1956 (priv. print. 1956).
  • 14. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 551; Morant, Essex, ii. 245.
  • 15. 32nd Rep. Com. Char. 648-9.
  • 16. Char. Com. file.