Cowfold: Education

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1987.

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'Cowfold: Education', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town, (London, 1987) pp. 188-189. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/sussex/vol6/pt3/pp188-189 [accessed 1 March 2024]

EDUCATION.

A schoolmaster was licensed to teach in Cowfold in 1587, (fn. 1) and in 1592 the vicar and 24 parishioners signed a petition for another teacher to keep a school there. (fn. 2) In 1637 a man from Bolney sometimes taught children at Cowfold, and in 1639 the churchwardens claimed that they had a school. (fn. 3) A man of Cowfold who 'took three articles' in 1684 was presumably a schoolmaster. (fn. 4) In 1819 there were four schools in the parish, and the poor were said to have sufficient means of education; a school on the Madras system, supported by subscription, had c. 60 boys, and there were two dame schools each with 18 girls and one with 30 boys. (fn. 5) The Madras school was built in 1813 by the vicar, Richard Constable, on the glebe beside the Horsham road, (fn. 6) and in 1835 it was described as a National school with 76 boys. The three dame schools also survived then, and there was a girls' boarding school. (fn. 7) The National school had 50 boys in 1846-7; the three dame schools, all then for girls, were inefficient. (fn. 8) A new National school was built west of the church in 1870, (fn. 9) to take boys, girls, and infants. (fn. 10) It was receiving an annual grant by 1875. (fn. 11) Average attendance was 100 in 1887 and 1903, (fn. 12) and 145 in 1932. (fn. 13) The school was enlarged in 1965. In 1984 it remained a C. of E. school and had 76 children aged 5-11 on the books, the older children going to school in Horsham. (fn. 14)

A boys' boarding school recorded in 1867 was at Steyne House in 1874 and was called Cowfold grammar school in 1887 and 1905. It also occupied Wood Grange. There was a ladies' school in 1905. (fn. 15)

Footnotes

  • 1. W.S.R.O., S.T.C. III/B, f. 35; cf. S.N.Q. xiv. 271.
  • 2. B.L. Add. MS. 33410, f. 17.
  • 3. W.S.R.O., Ep. II/15/1, pp. 13, 70.
  • 4. Ibid. Ep. I/3/1, f. 26.
  • 5. Educ. of Poor Digest, 955.
  • 6. P.R.O., ED 7/123; S.N.Q. i. 63; cf. P.R.O., IR 29 and 30/35/71, no. 521.
  • 7. Educ. Enq. Abstract, 967.
  • 8. Nat. Soc. Inquiry, 1846-7, Suss. 4-5.
  • 9. P.R.O., ED 7/123; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1887).
  • 10. Chich. Dioc. Kal. (1873), 171.
  • 11. Rep. of Educ. Cttee. of Council, 1875-6 [C. 1513-I], p. 639, H.C. (1876), xxiii.
  • 12. Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1887); Public Elem. Schs. 1906 [Cd. 3182], p. 638, H.C. (1906), lxxxvi.
  • 13. Bd. of Educ., List 21, 1932 (H.M.S.O.), 387.
  • 14. Inf. from Mr. R. W. Smith, headmaster.
  • 15. Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1867 and later edns.); A. N. Willson, Hist. Collyer's Sch. 156-7.