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Thomas Harley School

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Thomas Harley of Osgathorpe died in 1670 and left in his will instructions and sufficient funds to build a school and a school house in Osgathorpe, along with £40 per annum for the headmaster of the school. The school for local children was built on a piece of land then known as Brewett ’s Hempleck. The buildings were finished in October 1683 but may have functioned earlier.

The schoolmasters of the grammar school were appointed for life, and as part of the Harley Trust, lodged in the adjoining house built from the same local stone. As the school was expected to produce theologians, the schoolmasters themselves were expected to be clergymen but records show that wasn’t always the case. 

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1962 photograph of a class of 8 infants

The oldest reference to a schoolmaster was Cornelius Smedley with a date of 1685/1686. The Reverend Doctor Theophilus Henry Hastings Kelk was appointed Headmaster in 1833.  For the £40 salary the schoolmaster was required to teach basic education, reading, writing and arithmetic to a maximum of fifty pupils. Also to teach the classics and mathematics if required. There were 42 pupils registered in 1839, all were children of small farmers, trades people and the labouring classes. The school was closed in 1901 then later used as a library and subsequently an infant school.

Public Elementary School

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The public mixed elementary school was built in 1836 on land donated by John Bainbrigg Story Esq. who was lord of the manor at that time. It was attached to the Anglican church. In 1846/47 twenty seven boys and thirteen girls attended on weekdays, and an additional five boys and twelve girls attended on Sundays. The school was partly funded by a grant of £35 from the National Society. The annual costs of circa £26 were met partly by subscriptions and partly by payments from parents. The school had an average attendance of 48 in 1901 when Miss A Parker was headmistress. 

Taken  At The Front Of  The School Building In Main Street 1901

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