The Old School

The Old School

The school, now a house, immediately catches the eye of people walking towards the church. It housed up to twenty-five pupils in the ‘school room’ and twenty-three infants in the ‘class room.’ To ensure that the children were constantly aware of Palmer’s strict approach to schooling, he had four plaques carved with lines from the Bible. The present owners have restored the three external plaques; a fourth plaque is preserved inside the building.

The School Mistress initially lived opposite the school in a cottage rented from the Duke of Buckingham. From the early 1840s, Rector William Jocelyn Palmer leased the house now known as Glebe House, initially for a curate. It was later known as School House and accommodated Mrs Catley between 1932 and 1935 and probably other teachers.

The Duke of Buckingham was passionate about schools, as revealed by this letter written in 1824 to an unknown recipient.

I send you a letter on the eternal subject of Schools. If half the Schools to which I subscribe are effectively administered, my poor people they be well instructed. I do not grudge the money…

We have no evidence that the Duke complained about Finmere school and it would be surprising if he had done so as it was strictly administered by the Rectors of the parish.

The school plaques

West wall

Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: 
but he that hateth reproof is brutish


West wall

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth 
him chasteneth him betimes


Over entrance

For as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of
these my brethren, ye have done it unto me


In school room

Apply thine heart unto instruction; and thine ears 
to the words of knowledge