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ASHREIGNEY - THE VILLAGE SCHOOL - 1861 to 1972

 

Ashreigney Village School

The former village school at Ashreigney now fully renovated

and used as the Village Hall

© Richard J. Brine

 

From "Historical Notes on Devon Schools"

by Robert Bovett

"There was a Parish school established by the Pyncombe trust as early as 1818 according to the Parliamentary Return of 1833 which is shown on the Tithe Map as a very small building on the south side of the Village Square, a few yards east of the church. In the Replies to Queries for the Bishop's Visitation in 1821, it is stated that "reading, writing and needlework are taught, under a yearly salary of £10.  It continued until a new school was built in 1860/61 since when the older school has been demolished.

In 1860, the Half Moon Inn which stood on the South East corner of the square was conveyed to the Archdeacon and Minister for a National School and on the site of the Inn, the school was built and opened in 1861.

It continued under the LEA as a Voluntary Church School, became a junior School in 1937 when the senior pupils were transferred to Chulmleigh and was granted Aided status in 1952. In 1972, the new Area primary School at Winkleigh was completed and the pupils from Ashreigney and Wembworthy were transferred there, with both of those schools being closed."

 

William Richard Josling appears to have been the National School's first Head Teacher. He came to the school from High Bickington and remained for nearly 40 years. He remained in the village after his retirement, acting as the registrar for births and deaths. His wife, Mary Cowman Josling, appears to have taught needlework at the school at various times, having previously been a dressmaker. Their daughter Laura also worked in the school briefly as a Monitor.

 

James Shopland was the next Head Teacher, reported as taking over from Mr. Josling in 1900 but the 1901 census finds him still living in nearby Burrington where he had taught previously. He stayed at the school until 1920 when he moved to take charge of the school at North Tawton.

His successor appears to have been a Mrs. A. J. Harris who in turn was followed by a Mrs. Gabb who left under something of a cloud in 1934. She, in turn, was followed by Mrs. Dyke. In 1938, Miss Owen, the assistant teacher, who had worked with all of these heads, left after 42 years of service.

In 1972, under the headship of Mrs. Dallyn, the school was closed down, in spite of a strong campaign of  protest from the whole parish of Ashreigney, and the younger children were transferred to Winkleigh.

 

 
 
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