Stanton Ford School - Curbar

Compiled and edited by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004
Contributions also by David Dalrymple-Smith, Olive Harvey, Janet Kirk, Rodney Shaw and Ken Siddall.

According to David Dalrymple-Smith's research on Professionals, and Notes on Schools in Baslow, Stanton Ford School was founded about 1600. The former School Room is now the garage of Stanton Ford House.

Curbar, Stanton Ford House
Stanton Ford House, Curbar
Click to see larger version

The Curbar entry in White's 1857 Directory of Derbyshire states:- “At Stanton Ford, half-a-mile S. from the village, so named from a ford over the Derwent, with stepping stones placed across, is a good school, and a house for the master, and endowed with about £15 per annum, for which ten children are educated.” Further, under the entry for Baslow Charities, it records that “Henry Chapman, by will, left the Pingle close with other lands on trust, out of the rents to pay yearly to the schoolmaster of Stanton Ford, in Baslow, 20s.”.

Edward Moore is listed as the School Master in various Directories between 1852 and 1881 - see also People of Baslow, 1829-1895. The 1881 Census tells us he was born at Staveley, and was then aged 74; his occupation was - not unexpectedly - “Schoolmaster”.

He was clearly a very talented artist and tutor; schoolbooks belonging to two of his pupils are available to us showing a remarkable scholarship, and incredibly detailed penmanship where he has lent his students a hand. The title page of The Journal of Thomas Goddard of Curbar, 1860[1] has one of his illustrations on its front cover. We know that is so because underneath it, in a rather more shaky hand (in which the remainder of the Journal is written) it says:- ‘Engraving by Mr Moor, Ford Night School 1860’.

There is further information about Thomas's Journal in the description of Stocking Farm School.

The other surviving schoolbook belonged to John SIDDALL (1853-1895), and is currently in the possession of one of his great grandsons.[2] John's name and the date:-

John Siddall, 16. December, 1861. S.F.S.

is written in what is demonstrably the same hand as the title page of Thomas Goddard's Journal. (Note: S.F.S. is believed to be Stanton Ford School, not Stocking Farm School!)

Rule of Three

This page would possibly have been the introduction for John to one of his lessons.

For an eight-year-old a ‘Rule of Three’ does sound rather daunting, but later on it becomes even more challenging, advancing to ‘Double Rule of Three’!

‘Double Rule of Three’
Has five terms given three of supposition
and two of demand to find a sixth in the
same proportion with the terms of demand
as that of the terms of supposition.

‘Direct and Inverse Proportion’
If 14 yards of broadcloth cost 9£. 12s. what is the
purchase of 75 yards:

 yds £s. yds
Double Rule of Three

Actually, that does seem to be rather expensive broadcloth! I'm sure I used to be able to buy yards of material for dressmaking for less than that in the 1960s!!!

Further information of Mr Moore's life is supplied on his Memorial Inscription in Curbar, All Saints Churchyard, which records:-

B98. In Loving Memory of / Edward MOORE of Stanton Ford /
who died Feb 13th 18[67] / in his 77th year / Was Master of the Ford School /
60 Years / His end was peace / Also William Cadman / son of the above /
who died March 9th 1879 / in his 42nd year / Also Harriet wife of the above/
Edward MOORE / who died Oct 20th / 1889 in her 78th year.

The above extract is from Memorial Inscriptions for Curbar All Saints Church, published by Derbyshire Family History Society on microfiche.

Now obviously, since he appears on the Census of that year, Edward was still alive in 1881, so the year 1867 is a mistake, and he probably died in 1883.[3] Someone, however kept the School open until 1889, possibly his wife Harriet, as she died that year. The Charities Commissioners subsequently reorganised a group of similar Charities as “The Baslow Charities”, with money due to “The Schoolmaster” being divided between Baslow and Curbar Schools - see Baslow - Charity Boards in the Church.

Olive Harvey (née Goodwin), born in Calver in the 1920s recalls as a schoolchild, receiving the annual princely sum of 10s. 6d. (£0.52½ pence) from the “Ford Trust”. She'd understood that this Trust was set up by a “monied lady” who lived at Stanton Ford, to be distributed amongst school attendees, on condition they were resident in Baslow & Calver; thus during WWII, when evacuee children attended her school, they didn't qualify to receive this payment. For them, I can imagine, that would have been yet a further indignity to accompany their evacuation.


[1] The Journal of Thomas Goddard of Curbar, 1860 - extracts of which were shared with me by one of his descendants. Thomas was the son of George GODDARD (1816-1878) and Mary née ELLIS (1810-1895).

[2] John Siddall's Schoolbook, 1861 - information, original research, and scanned images kindly contributed by Rodney Shaw and Ken Siddall.

[3] There is a death registration at Bakewell for an Edward MOORE in March Quarter 1883 aged 76, 7b 470.

[4] Edward MOORE had 10 children, all born in Curbar. He and his family are being researched by Antony MOORE, a gt-gt-gt grandson. Antony is a descendant of Edward's son Joseph E. MOORE, who worked as a servant for William ELLIOT at Grislow Fields Farm in his youth. Sadly none of the male children remained in Curbar following Edward's wife Harriett's death in 1887, and so the Moore line died out in the village.

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