School

Coleshill School was built in 1847 on land belonging to Earl Howe. It is very similar in design to the school, now a church hall, built by Earl Howe at Penn in 1839. The school was conveyed to the Rector and Churchwardens of Amersham by an indenture dated 5 September 1850:

The original building comprised a large classroom 28ft by 16ft 9in, facing west, with a house for the schoolmaster on the north end. A grant was received from the National Society, and individual subscriptions were received from Miss Oldham of Woodrow High House, Miss Higham of Beel House, Mrs Griffin of Porch House, Mrs Drake of Shardeloes, Rev. J.T. Drake, Rector of Amersham, Christopher Grove of Hertfordshire House, Earl Howe, James Du Pre of Wilton Park, Mrs Eyles of Coleshill House, John Parton of Beaconsfield (owner of Bowers Farm), and Captain Lascelles, tenant of Coleshill Cottage (later The Rosary). By 1871, an extra classroom, 30ft long by 20ft wide and 18ft high, had been built on the east side of the school. In the school log book, it was referred to as the 'New School', as opposed to the 'Old Classroom'.

The school rooms were heated by open fires, with a caretaker employed to light and maintain the fires during the day. The remains of one of these fireplaces is visible in the corridor outside the staffroom. The heating cannot have been very good in the cold of winter, as it was sometimes reported that the ink froze in the ink wells, preventing the children from writing. The children's toilets were at one time outside,and these too frequently froze during the winters.

With the new schoolmaster in 1897 not needing the living accommodation at the school, there was an extra room which could be used for teaching. By 1898 the inspectors were calling for the provision of more classrooms and new toilets, as the classroom was 'awkwardly shaped and habitually overcrowded'. The managers had by then obtained a larger plot adjacent to the school where they intended to provide a suitable teacher's residence. Work started in March 1900 to build an extension on the east end of the larger schoolroom. The school had to be closed because of the noise. The extension provided a larger room for the upper school and allowed a larger grant to be given.

Day to day life in the school is recorded in the School Logbooks which can be viewed on this web site. The logbooks cover the period from1850 to 1955
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