Bobbingworth: School

Pages 17-18

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

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In 1807 and 1818 it was stated that there was no school in the parish. (fn. 1) In 1822, with the support of Capel Cure of Blake Hall (see above), a girls' school was established which by 1833 had 24 pupils. (fn. 2) It was a dame school, with a Sunday school attached, (fn. 3) and it is said to have been situated in a house which the estate carpenter had erected in the churchyard. (fn. 4) In 1846-7 there were still only 24 girls attending, the sole educational provision for boys being the Sunday school. (fn. 5) W. M. Oliver, Rector of Bobbingworth, considered a National School to be 'much wanted'. (fn. 6) In 1855-6 Capel Cure built 'a good, substantial schoolroom' (fn. 7) and a teacher's residence next to the church, but until about 1869 only girls seem to have attended it. (fn. 8) By 1871, however, the pupils included 18 boys, (fn. 9) an addition made possibly in anticipation of the requirements of the Education Act. In the same year an inspector reported to the Education Department that only 47 places were needed to secure universal elementary schooling in the parish and that 55 places were available at the school. (fn. 10)

The Capel Cures continued to support the school until 1904, apparently without assistance from public funds, (fn. 11) retaining it as their property but allowing it to be administered as a Church school. (fn. 12) An inspector, visiting it in 1896, found the buildings in good repair but the scholastic standard low. (fn. 13) The school did not officially pass under the control of the Essex Education Committee until some three years after the 1902 Education Act. In 1904, when there were 42 pupils, the senior teacher received his salary of £40 not from the Local Education Authority but presumably from Capel Cure and the proceeds of the weekly fees of 2d., paid by each pupil. (fn. 14) In that year the Education Committee considered the provision of a Council school in the parish, but decided to give the existing school nonprovided status if the managers would spend £150 on an additional classroom. The Education Committee accepted some financial responsibility for the school until the new classroom was completed in 1906. (fn. 15) The average attendance rose from 36 in 1905 to 53 in 1910, but fell to 42 in 1927. After the reorganization of the school for juniors and infants in 1936 and the transfer of seniors to Chipping Ongar, it fell further to 27 in 1938. In 1951 the school was granted controlled status. (fn. 16) In May 1952 it had two teachers and 33 pupils. (fn. 17) It stands a little west of the church. It is a red-brick gabled building with stone dressings dated 1856 and inscribed with the initials of Capel Cure.


  • 1. E.R.O., D/AEM 2/4 (Archdeaconry); Retns. Educ. Poor, H.C. 224, p. 248 (1819), ix (1).
  • 2. Educ. Enquiry Abstr. H.C. 62, p. 267 (1835), xli.
  • 3. Nat. Soc. Rep. 1832, p. 36; Nat. Soc. Enquiry into Church Schs. 1846-7, pp. 2-3.
  • 4. Ex. inf. Mrs. G. Day, Headmistress, 1952.
  • 5. Earlier, in 1822-3, Capel Cure had sent boys from his estate to Moreton school (E.R.O., D/DCc E6). Whether he continued to do so, after 1823, does not appear.
  • 6. Nat. Soc. Enquiry into Church Schs. 1846-7, pp. 2-3.
  • 7. E.R.O., D/AEM 1/1/1.
  • 8. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1870).
  • 9. Retns. Elem. Educ. H.C. 201, pp. 110- 11 (1871), lv.
  • 10. Min. of Educ. File 13/26A.
  • 11. Ibid.; Retn. of Schs., 1893 [C. 7529], p. 714 H.C. (1894), lxv.
  • 12. Retns. Elem. Educ. (1871), pp. 110-11.
  • 13. Min. of Educ. File 13/26A.
  • 14. Ibid.; Essex Educ. Cttee. Handbk. 1904, p. 183.
  • 15. Min. of Educ. File 13/26A; Essex Standard, 29 Oct. 1904.
  • 16. Min. of Educ. File 13/26A.
  • 17. Ex. inf. Essex Educ. Cttee.