Opened in 1847, the school was built on land donated by the Earl of Pembroke. Although the sketch on the left is copied from a lithograph with the hand-written note ‘built 1850’ appended, there is no guarantee that the lithograph was made at that date. We do have an early postcard/photograph of the school (on the right). It is not dated, but an educated guess would suggest that the picture was taken in the late 1890s
The sketch obviously predates the photograph for the ‘end School House’ had not then been built. However, what appears to be a School House is included in the sketch and, although it is built of local stone and is tiled like the main building, its window frames are different. It looks like a later addition. By the time of the photograph, what might be called the ‘second School House’ had been added.
So is it possible that the school was built in three stages?
Comments from the Inspector’s annual reports, noted in the School Log book over a number of years, indicate some of the deficiencies the building suffered from.
‘November 1875 … defects in the boys’ offices need remedying … a separate set of offices should be at once built for the girls … one tenth of grant deducted on above grounds … unless steps are at once taken to do what is needed it will become their Lordship’s duty to consider whether They will not altogether withhold the Grant’
‘1877 … the drainage of the playground has a tendency to settle round the door of the Classroom which should be corrected at once.’
‘1880 … the room would be much improved if it were made lighter, either by removing some of the ivy round the window or by removing the small diamond panes which both obstruct light by the quantity of framework necessary and also have a tendency to injure health. Looking … to last years warning … My Lords are compelled to refuse payment.’
The school building remained relatively unchanged until main drainage came to the village in the late 1940s, when outside flushing lavatories were installed.
In 1957, undoubtedly caused by the numbers on roll increasing, a Pratten classroom, a wooden-clad permanent structure, was sited in the playground close to the roadside entrance to the school. Another such classroom, set up on the bank on the far side of the playground, was also added at some time in the 1970s.
Even though the school was closed in 1997 all these buildings remain in use by the Rainbow Centre.