Avening: Education

A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11, Bisley and Longtree Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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'Avening: Education', in A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11, Bisley and Longtree Hundreds, (London, 1976) pp. 165. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol11/p165 [accessed 16 April 2024]


Samuel Sandford of London, by will dated 1710, gave £200 for teaching 6 poor boys of Avening division within Avening parish. The children were to be put to school on reaching the age of five, and on learning the primer and the catechism they were to be given clothes and 14s.; no boys were to remain in the school for more than two years. By will dated 1722 Sarah Sandford of Stonehouse left a house with some land at the Cross in Avening village for educating poor boys of Avening tithing. For many years the two charities were administered by the Sheppard family who also subsidized the school. After their departure from Gatcombe Park in 1814 the money was not applied for three or four years (fn. 1) but the school was in existence in 1818. (fn. 2) In 1828 the capital sum, augmented by the sale of the lands granted by Sarah and by gifts from members of the Sheppard family, was used to support the parish school from which 3 children were clothed annually in pursuance of Samuel's will. (fn. 3) The school had 55 boys and 30 girls on the roll in 1833, when a Sunday school was attached and received some support from the charity. (fn. 4)

Elizabeth Coxe left £50 to the parish, the interest to be used for teaching children to read and buying books. The money was placed in the parish stock and apparently remained unapplied until the capital sum reached £92 19s. (fn. 5) By 1818 the interest was being used to support a school at which 6 girls were taught to read. (fn. 6) The school was apparently reconstituted in 1824 to take fee-paying pupils also, and 8 boys and 20 girls were on the roll in 1833. (fn. 7)

In 1842 the two schools were united and transferred to a new building with a boys' and girls' section and an infants' section. The school also housed a night-school and was known as Avening National school. (fn. 8) Additional rooms were built c. 1894, (fn. 9) and in 1910 there were 116 children on the roll. By 1936 the numbers had declined to 96 (fn. 10) and in 1972 there were 76 children on the roll. (fn. 11) The proceeds of the charitable endowment, one third of which was devoted to the C. of E. Sunday school, was used to buy books for local children proceeding to higher or further education. (fn. 12)

Other schools, some of which may have been in the area later transferred to Nailsworth, have been recorded in the parish. In 1737 the assistant curate John Baron was teaching a grammar school there, presumably a fee-paying school. (fn. 13) In 1833 there were five day-schools where children were taught at their parents' expense: they included one with 10 children, one with 7 children which had started in 1827, one with 20 children which had been in existence for two years, and two new schools with a total of 21 children. In addition a night-school was attached to one of the new schools and there were three boarding schools with a total of 58 pupils and one boarding and dayschool with 19 children. (fn. 14)


  • 1. 18th Rep. Com. Char. 332.
  • 2. Educ. of Poor Digest, 290.
  • 3. 18th Rep. Com. Char. 332.
  • 4. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 301-2.
  • 5. 18th Rep. Com. Char. 331-2.
  • 6. Educ. of Poor Digest, 290.
  • 7. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 301.
  • 8. Ed. 7/34/20.
  • 9. Glos. R.O., P 29/SC 5/3.
  • 10. Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1912 (H.M.S.O.), 159; 1936, 118.
  • 11. Ex inf. the head teacher.
  • 12. Ex inf. the rector.
  • 13. Hockaday Abs. cviii.
  • 14. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, 301.