Village School

Towersey School in 1910

Towersey Village School was built in 1848. The school was located next to St. Catherines Church on the crossroads by Manor Road. There were two schoolrooms and a school-house which had places for 84 children. In the early years the attendance was about 60-70, though at times of bad weather, bean and potato planting/picking, harvest time, cricket matches and local fairs the attendance fell dramatically to only a few pupils. The children not only helped with harvest time but also lace-making and with laundry at the manor.

The school was examined in 1878 for the first time. It was concluded that there “were many failure’s in arithmetic due to faulty numeration” and “many inaccuracies in spelling”. The order was “very fair and the sewing was good.”

During the years the school was here the teaching staff comprised of the Certified Mistress, Assistant Mistress and a School Monitor. The school had a somewhat chequered history with many changes to staff and poor attendance, this was mainly due to the fact Towersey was a rural village, because of this children played an important role in the sowing and harvesting of crops. The girls were mainly involved in lace-making for which Towersey was, at one time, famous.

In 1885 the total grant received by the school was £60.10 and was allocated by the school Guardians of which Mr. Whitehouse Griffin was the Honorary Treasurer. This grant was made up of a Basic Principle Grant, a Population Grant, with the balance being allocated based on the attendance over the school year and the results of examination as certified by the school inspector.

The school was eventually closed down in the 1950’s, with the children now attending the main schools in Thame. The school house was converted into three private residences.

We have been sent this picture of the school in 1950 by Grahame Higgins.towersey-school-1950