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Rode Hill (National) School

Above: Rode Hill school (c1960)

In addition to the information set out below, the following is an excellent reference: “Rode Hill National School 1834 – 1922, A Select History”, by Harry Hopkins (2003, two booklets).

Rode Hill School (S.R.O. Taunton D/P rod.h.18/3/2)

This is a copy of a paper dated 31 Aug 1855 concerning the school built on land given by Reverend G. R. Orchard, funded by subscription and a grant of £50 from the ‘National Society’. Though a trust deed was prepared the paper concludes it was never finalized. First established in 1834 but re-established in 1854 under new management. Single schoolroom for both boys and girls, 31ft x 18ft, very lofty with boarded floor. Building of brick faced with stone and a slate roof.

Annual return for 1854 shows average attendance of 45 (20 boys, 25 girls). Children attending only on Sundays paid 1d per week; those attending on week-days paid 1d; in either case those writing on paper as opposed to a slate paid an extra 1d per week.

In 1854 income was: Endowment £7 0s. 0d, Voluntary Contributions (from more wealthy citizens) £16 0s. 0d, “Schoolpence” £9 9s. 4d. Expenditure: Teacher’s Salary £26 0s. 0d, Assistant £3 12s. 0d, Books etc £1 10s. 0d, Fuel/Lights £1 5s. 0d, Repairs 10s. 0d. Lay Headmaster was Mr. Edward Peacock.

By 1902 Masters salary was 1 x £20 15s. 0d. plus 3 x £22 10s. 0d, paid qtrly. plus travelling expenses, suggesting he did not live in Road/Road Hill. His Assistant, Miss Willis received £1 5s. 0d per quarter and Miss Kinton(Extra) £1 0s. 0d in January 1902.

Road Hill School Accounts Book 31 Dec 1866 through 31 Dec 1906 – S.R.O. Taunton D/P rod.h.18/3/1.

This Accounts Book was issued by the Committee of the Council on Education, Downing Street, London S.W., and is ruled in Columns as follows:


a. Capitation Grant from the Council (appears to be based on attendance in the previous year)

b. Donations

c. From Diocesan Board for Monitor

d. School pence

e. School pence for books


e. For Books

f. Assistant Teacher

g. Monitor

h. Spent on books

j. Spent on fuel and Lights

k. Furniture, repairs and cleaning

l. Miscellaneous.

The entries for the years are tabulated and extracted below:

Yr. to 31 Oct 1867: a. £21 10s. 0d, b. £20 2s. 0d, c. £2 12s. 0d, d. £9 13s. 4d, e. 3s. 6d; e. 8s. 6d, f. £40 0s. 0d, g. £5 1s. 0d, h. £1 11s. 2d, j. £1 12s. 2d, k. £1 9s.6d (Miss Hiscock, Mistress, Miss Kinton, Monitor)

31 Oct 1868: a. £23 8s. 10d, b. £20 2s. 0d, c. nil, d. £12 2s. 4d, e. 3s 6d; f. £16 8s. 4d, Miss Lanham £10 0s. 0d, g. £5 15s. 0d, h. £2 2s. 6d, j. 12s. 6d, k.£8 19s. ld .(Miss Hiscock Mistress at start)

31 Oct 1869: a. £25 15s. 8d, b. 16s. 0d, c. Sarum Educ. Bd. £3 18s. 0d, d. £12 11s. 3d, e. 9s. 10d; f. Miss Lanham £38 12s. 0d, g. £6 8s. 6d, h. 19s. 0d, j. £1 8s. 10d, k. £2 3s. 6d.

31 Oct 1870: a. £28 1s. 0d, b. £20 0s. 0d, c. nil, d. £11 14s. 0d, e. 8s. 10d; f. £48 10s. 0d, g. £6 15s. 0d, h. £1 18s. 6d, j. 16s. 6d, k. £1 18s. 11d.

31 Oct 1871: a. £24 13s. 4d, b. £20 0s. 0d, c. nil. d. £11 10s. 0d, e. 12s. 2d; f. £45 19s. 8d ,g. £6 15s. 0d, h. £1 11s. 10d, j. 19s. 3d, k. £3 5s. ld.

31 Oct 1872: a. £32 2s. 3d, b. £18 0s. 0d, c. nil, d. £10 19s. 0d, e. 12s. 2d, f. £53 15s. 4d, g. £6 15s. 0d, h. £1 17s. 10d, j. nil, k. £1 10s. 6d.

31 Oct 1873: a. £29 10s. 2d, b. £18 0s. 0d, c. nil, d. £12 1s. 1d, e. 14s. 10d; f. £50 14s. 3d, g. £6 18s. 0d, h. £1 17s. 8d, j. £3 9s. 9d, k. £4 4s. ld.

Pd. to 31 Mch 1875: a. £30 16s. 0d, b. £20 0s. 0d, c. £4 0s. 0d, d. £15 12s. 5d, e. 15s 8d; f. £56 18s. 5d, g. £9 18s. 0d, h. £2 11s. 10d, j. £2 16s. 2d, k. £2 18s. 0d.

Yr. to 31 Mch 1876: a. £45 9s. 6d, b. £22 6s. 0d, c. £4 4s. 0d, d. £8 19s. 9d, e. 10s. 0d; f. £64 9s. 3d, g. £7 16s. 0d, h. £3 19s. 4d, j. £1 10s. 8d, k. £14 2s. 11d.

31 Mch 1877: a. £34 0s. 0d, b. £23 18s. 0d, c. nil, d. £9 8s. 9d, e. 7s. 6d; f. £47 7s.9d, g. £7 16s. 0d, h. £2 8s. 8d, j. £1 1s. 4d, k. 7s. 3d.

31 Mch 1878: a. £33 8s. 0d, b. £24 17s. 0d, c. nil, d. £14 2s. 0d, e. 11s. 4d; f. £57 10s. 0d, g. £7 16s. 0d. h. £3 6s. 11d, j. £1 4s. 4d, k. £2 11s. 0d.

31 Mch 1879: a. £36 1s. 0d, b. £30 0s. 0d. c. £2 0s. 0d, d. £14 17s. ld, e. 11s. 8d; f. £55 3s. 0d, g. £11 10s. 0d, h. £3 17s. 5d, j. £1 1s. 0d, k. £3 11s. 11d, l. £1 3s. 9d.

31 Mch 1880: a. £39 8s. 0d, b. £35 0s. 0d, c. £1 10s. 0d, d. £14 7s. 3d, e. 10s. 0d; f. £59 5s. 0d plus Miss K. Woolley Asst £4 0s. 0d, g. £12 9s. 6d, h. £3 13s. 1d, j. £1 3s. 0d, k. £1 15s. 7d, l.£2 7s. 5d.

31 Mch 1881: a. £50 18s. 0d, b. £33 2s. 0d, c. £1 5s. 0d, d. £14 4s. 5d, e. 6s. 2d; f. £22 5s. 2d, g. £15 9s. 6d, h. £3 18s. 4d, j. £1 9s. 1d, k. £3 11s 4d, 1. £7 19s. 9d.

The History of North Bradley and Road Hill 1881 by A Farquharson page 59

The school was built by subscription in the year 1834 and received a grant from the National Society.

Extracts from Directories (not checked)

Pigot 1842: Infants School; Mary Dyer, Headmistress

Kelly 1852/3: Infants School: Mary Dyer. National School: William Freeman(Smith?), Master; Margaret Smith, Mistress. National School attached to Christ Church for boys and girls, Mistress Mrs.Cox

Kelly 1861: NationaL School (Boys and Girls) Road Hill; Mrs Cox (Mistress)

Kelly 1866: National School (Boys and Girls), Road Hill, Miss Maria Bridman, Mistress.

P.O. 1866: National School (Boys and Girls), Mrs.Cox, Mistress

P.O. 1875: National School (Boys and Girls) Miss Lanham, Mistress

P.O. 1883: National School (Boys and Girls) Miss Hargreaves, Mistress

Kelly 1885/8: National School erected 1834, Average attendance 130, School-mistress Miss Hargreaves

Kelly 1895: National School (mixed) built in 1834 and enlarged in 1894/95 for 150 children; average attendance 130, Miss Mary Elizabeth Charles, Mistress

Kelly 1889: National school (mixed) built 1834 for 115 children, average attendance 85; Miss Charlotte Hargrave, Misstress.

Kelly 1895/98: National School erected 1830 average attendance 130, Miss Hargraves Mistress.

Kelly 1898: National school (mixed and infant), built in 1834, enlarged in 1894/95 for 150 children. Average attendance 130, Robert Smith, Master; Miss Susan Kinton (infants mistress)

Kelly 1902S: National School Average attendance 76, Robert Smith, Master,

Kelly 1902(W): National School (mixed),average attendance 68, J. Howell Pugh, Master, Miss Susan Kinton, mistress

Kelly 1906: Road Hill Mixed school average attendance, J. Howell Pugh, Master

Kelly 1907: Road Hill Elementary School, average attendance 71

Kelly 1911W: Road Hill Elementary, average attendance 71

Kelly 1911W: Road Hill Elementary, average attendance 67

Kelly 1915W: Elementary (mixed and infant) built 1834, enlarged 1894/5 for 150 children, J. Howell Pugh, Master, Miss Julie May Coles infants mistress.

Kelly 1920W: as Kelly 1915W

Kelly 1923W: The children attend the school in the Somerset part of the village

A West Country Potpourri page 252

Road Hill School closed on 30th June 1922

Jottings by Paul Stacey (died 1998)

Methodist school was built in 1859 by builders Davis of Frome; also built the Church School on the site of the bungalow in Langham Place. Mrs. Cray of Shawford Farm attended the Methodist School and Miss Woolley the Church School and they never met as children. The school on the site in Langham Place was Road Hill School.

The Link November 2010

Rode Hill also had its own school, next to Christchurch in Langham Place. It was built by subscription in 1834 and could hold more than 75 children. Initially it was managed by the church and later became a “National school” run by the Government. It closed in 1922 when the population in Rode Hill had dropped to 177. For several decades the building was used by various organisations, including the W I before being demolished c1950. Part of the front of the school still remains as the garden wall of 19 Langham Place.

Statement in Capt. B. C. Foyston’s notes 2011

Rode Hill School built 1834, demolished 1963 (nb: photographs below show the school in 1963)

24 July 2023
Last Updated
15 March 2024