Building an Education

Posted in General Village Interest

'An Historical and Architectural Study of Rural Schools and schooling in Norfolk c.1800 - 1944.'
Edited by our own Susanna Wade - Martins and Adam Longcroft.

What a gem to dip into!

As it says on the back cover 'This volume of the journal of the Norfolk Historic Buildings Group (NHBG) is the culmination of a three year project focusing on the recording and interpretation of the surviving rural schools of Norfolk. It is the most comprehensive and detailed study of its kind ever undertaken in the county and contains records for nearly480 separate schools and more than 500 photographs, maps and drawings.

It is the result of a pioneering partnership between English Heritage, the Norfolk Record Office, the University of East Anglia, the NHBG and a team of 20 volunteers.'

There is everything you might want to know about our County's schools and it has lots of references to North Elmham School.

Here is a paragraph on page 34 to take you back in time!!
'North Elmham National School was founded in 1813 and was no doubt typical of many in the county. On June 19th the Vestry meeting agreed to set up a school to serve Elmham and surrounding villages. It was under the patronage of the landowner, Richard Milles who was the largest subscriber at ten pounds a year. Those who subscribed over one pound a year were entitled to a place on the committee and those who subscribed more than ten shillings(fifty pence)could recommend a child for every ten shillings they gave. Boys were to attend school in the morning and girls in the afternoon. As well as the three R's and the catechism the girls were taught knitting and sewing. Preference was to be given to 'children of the labouring poor, journeymen, carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, etc 'They were expected to attend church on Sunday. If they were away from school without an excuse for more than two days at a time they would be expelled. This rule was over - ruled if children were needed 'at seed time for dropping or for keeping birds from the grain.'

Ed's note. We must remember that children had to walk to school, in lots of cases perhaps several miles a day in heavy clothing and perhaps badly fitting boots. I think life is easier now!!