A village school through 300 years
In 1642 during the civil war village land owner, Jane Leeson, decided to build a free school for the local children. Little could she have known that the resulting attractive stone building would be used for over 300 years to teach the children of Abthorpe and the surrounding villages. The building itself remained unaltered for over 200 years until 1866, when it's first floor was removed and it was extended by the addition of a Victorian schoolroom. Local children continued to be educated here until it closed as a school in 1959.
The earliest recorded Master was Henry Bendbow in 1647 and he was followed by an intriguing succession of Masters and Mistresses. During all this time the school remained at the centre of village life and witnessed many changes in education and society generally.
Read more about it in our book 'The Free School in Abthorpe' which brings to life:
Click here to see a timeline of the history of the school.
Click here to see sample pages from the school logbooks kept by the Headteachers from 1908.
Other Historical Documents
Click here to see other documents relevant to the school's history.
Click here to see old school photographs that don't appear in the book.