The Old Grammar School, Ledbury

Recent Photograph of The Old Grammar School (Ledbury)

The Old Grammar School building in Ledbury dates back to the early 16th century. In its early days its principal function was teaching latin grammar; a pupil's day was a long one, starting at 7 in the morning, and lasting about nine hours, and the pupils - at the time, boys only - either stood, or sat on wooden benches in a bare room. There were few books, and the boys had to learn by heart passages of latin which were read to them by the schoolmaster. Other lessons included reading, writing, and the art of reasoning.

The school was supported originally by a chantry from the church, but during Edward VI's reign (1547-1553), chantry foundations were abolished by Act of Parliament. However, a petition was made to the King to retain the school, which was successful, and the school survived. The schoolmaster who was then appointed was named Richard WHELER.

The original building was closed in 1830, as it had become too dilapidated, and the school was moved to Oakland House in the Homend. It was however purchased in 1969 by the local council, and restored, as part of an enhancement scheme for the Church Lane area. During the restoration some merchants' tokens were discovered, and a George II penny from the mid 1730s; plus remains of a small leather purse, containing a page from a Latin text book. The building is now a museum, but as a reminder of one of its original functions, some of the window glass and timber paneling bear the initials of boys' names.

I would have liked to photograph the front of the building, but Church Lane, is only wide enough for pedestrian traffic, and it was impossible to stand far enough back to get it all in. Many of the old buildings in Ledbury are similarly difficult to photograph as their ‘Leading Edge’ is surrounded by other buildings. The Grammar School is no exception.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)


Image contributed by Rosemary Lockie on 14th September 1999.
This is a Genealogy Website
URL of this page: http://places.wishful-thinking.org.uk/HEF/Ledbury/OldGrammarSchool.html
Logo by courtesy of the Open Clip Art Library