Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet



The History of the Schools in Bures
Research Notes from Mrs Howard, former HT at Bures Primary School

1582 until the present

The earliest recorded educational establishment in Bures was a Grammar School operational in 1582.
LINK:_ The history of this school is covered on another page

The presence of a school is mentioned in the "Glebe Terrier of 1706"
As this was a Charity School, it had no cooenction with the fee paying Grammar School.

Houses belonging to the Parish of Bures St Mary.
"a house of about £3 a year, said formerly to be a free school, the case of which is now before her Majesties Commissioners for Charity"

Further forward it may be possible to identify this house
1709:- one small cottage in the Hamlet situate nearer to the Mansion House of Herbert Pelham, gent worth about £3 per annum.
A similar reference made to this property in 1729

COMMENT:Herbert Pelham lived at Smallbridge Hall, probably known as the Mansion House ?

1710 Charity Records for West Suffolk:- "Beures St Mary a Sch for 30B" - presumably a "School for 30 boys"

Another Source:- WSRO Source Material for Suffolk Teachers, Folder 1141
Bures Charity School appear in the accounts of the "Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge" which was founded in 1698
Bures School is thus considered in the SPCK accounts for 1714, 1715, 1716, 1717, 1718 and 1724

These accounts indicate indicate whether a Charity School was clothed or part clothed. Bures School is not listed in either of these two options, therefore the children attending this Bures school did not receive a clothing grant.

1725: There appears to be no further records after this date

COMMENT: The Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge can be abbreviated "SPCK". Today that name still continues as "SPCK Christian Bookshops ( Norwich)"

Circa 1825
A school for 30 boys and 25 children

1832 Dissenters Sunday School for Protestant Dissenters commenced, but this was a year before the Rev Anderson arrived at the newly opened Baptist Church

Abstract from the County of Suffolk Education Returns 1833
"Bures St Mary:- two daily schools, one thereof contains 30 males ( see 1710 entry) and the other commenced 1825 with 25 children.
In both schools the instruction is at the expense of the parents.

Two Sunday schools:-
(a) Commenced 1832 appertains to the Protestant Dissenters and consists of 32 males and 13 females who receive gratuitous instruction.
(b) another supported by daily contributions with 50 boys and 72 females who attend the Established Church

(a) so where was the daily school with 30 boys. The land that the present school is built on shows no building on the 1827 map.
(b) So where was the other daily school with 25 children which started in 1825.
(c) the Sunday school which appertains to Dissenters is recorded as having commenced in 1832, seven years before the Rev Anderson came to Bures as the first leader of the Baptist Church

Extract from the "Remarks on the Summary of the County Education returns 1833, page 933
"No school in the County of Suffolk appears to be confined to the children of parents of the Established Church, or of any other religious denomination such exclusion being disclaimed in almost every instance especially in schools established by Dissenters with whom we include the Wesleyan Methodists and the Roman Catholics"

These remarks suggest that these returns are not about schools run by private persons but schools set up by the Church
In 1833 the first parliamentary funds were paid to two voluntary societies who had an interest in the running of schools.
They were:
The Lancastrian Society formed in 1808 and renamed in 1810 the "British and Foreign School Society.
And the "National Society for the Education of the Poor" which took over the running of the SPCK

This corroborates that a Church School existed in Bures.

School in Bures recorded in the "Suffolk Society for the Education of the Poor"
Two schools recorded in Bures
No1:- 25 boys, 30 girls on weekdays. The local Vicar being the Superintendent
No2:- 60 boys, 90 girls on Sundays
These appear to be the same two schools which were documented in 1833.

Comment :- so what happened to the two daily schools that were listed in the Suffolk Education returns
(see above) between 1833 and 1839

National School (Nayland Road)
Original Plan dated 1839

British School (Baptist Church)
High Street


British Schools were of a non denominate nature and catered mainly for the Baptists and Congregational



Conveyance of land (Shooting Field) to be used for a National School
. The land was purchased from Osgood Hanbury for the sum of £1.

Information taken from the Trust Deed:- "....the Lords of Her Majesty`s Treasury have advanced the sun of £40 towards the expense of erecting, furnishing and fitting the said school ..............."

1840 School opened
The original classroom was only 39ft x 19ft and built on land in Nayland Road called Shooting Field which was part of Bures Hall
Situated today to the left of the main entrance gates.
No playground and the front land to the road were gardens

1840 -Schoolmaster Mr William Howard

1843 -School enlarged. This was the Infants school 20ft x 30ft.
We can see this still today to the right of the main entrance gates. Built at a cost of £550.
Attendance approx 190

1845 -Rev F Cook writes that all the village schools in Essex and Suffolk are remarkable, The clergy making sacrifices to maintain there standards. Farmers are not to be encouraged to contribute as a large proportion of them are Dissenters

1853 -Boys Schoolmaster Josiah Taylor
Girls Schoolmistress Mary Ann Danzie

- the original building erected in 1840 now extended by 10ft at either end to give an overall length of 60ft .
Architecturally identical to the original building

1854 - Proposals for an additional classroom NW of the existing building.
This required a further acquisition of land.

1855 - the infants are now housed in the new classroom bringing all the children under the same roof..
Still no playground for the children with the front yard divided by a payling fence segregating the boys and girls and infants.

1855 - Plans now exist for the Schoolmasters house which will be in the style of the school buildings.

1855 - 1875 - Proposal to enlarge the Infants School

1861 - HeadTeacher Frederick Smith
Girls Schoolmistress Sarah Cant

1863 - First log-book appeared at the school written by Frederick Smith

It would appear now the girls and infants are in the original extended building while the boys are in the Infants building

1866 - HeadTeacher Edward Evans

1866 -Miss Garrad allows the children to leave at 4pm instead of 4.30pm on account of their good order.

1868 - Edward Evans, SchoolMaster, Miss Sarah Cant

1871 - 10 boys admitted from British School.

1872 - George Foreman, Schoolmaster
Infants Mistress Mrs Susan Dupont ( served at the School for 33years retiring in 1905)

Schoolmistress Mrs Alice Maia Wakelin

1874 - HeadTeacher Henry Johnson

1881 - ventilation ducts in the classrooms added during school holiday.
Attendance 84

Prior to 1881 the Rev Hanbury oversees running of the School.
In 1881, the Rev Enoch Woods calls himself Manager. The Vicar and his curate are deeply involved in the running of the school including taking lessons
The funeral of the Rev Hanbury took place around this time and it was recorded he had been involved with the education in Bures for the past 60 years. That would have taken him back to the 1820 entries above, before the current Primary School existed

Circa 1890 - Schooling eventually becomes free

1885 -School now has 260 children in attendance

1894 -School accounts indicate:
Income at £420
Expenditure at £383

The Minutes of 1839 records that when Rev Anderson arrived in Bures , he was very concerned that a village with 1600 inhabitants had no place for education.

1840: To the left of the Baptist Church there is a single story building (see above) built in 1840, that began as a Sunday School and also became a School for the Nonconformists.

Consequently in 1839/40 the first Bures British School was opened and the building funded by voluntary donations
There were 60 children on opening with one teacher to cater for them all. The main aim was to teach children to read so they could appreciate the text of the Bible
Its location today is at the left of the Baptist Church.

With so many children attending the School adjacent to the Baptist Church and extension was required
The building was erected at the rear of the current school building. This was the original British School

1847: Infants School was completed this year and later pulled down.

1854: New schoolroom at the rear constructed

Whites Directory records a "British School erected in 1854 at a cost of £360.
The same year the school was officially recognised as the "British School for the instruction of children from the labouring and working class societies.
The name of the British School Master was given as J Arnold
Further in the year the number of children attending reached 120 taught by the Master and a lady. In addition to the skills of reading the girls were taught needlework
Finance from the running of the school came locally from voluntary donations.
From 1855 the School would also gain some financial support from the "British and Foreign Schools Society"

1864 - Minutes recorded from the Baptist School records " 2 boys admitted from the British School"
Presumably from the new school in Nayland Rd.

Further records these transfers either way were quite a common occurrence,
Tuition was not free at either the National School or the British School

1864- 1865
- Miss Isabella Joanna Edwards as Mistress

1868 - Miss Isabella Joanna Edwards as Mistress and Mrs Lydia Stebbings and the infants Mistress

1869/1870: School probably closed. Non-Conformists Ministers son was admitted to the National School in Nayland Rd

1874 Whites Directory - British School built for £360 in 1854, closed for some time and the children transferred to Nayland Road.


National School, Nayland Road (cont)

1879 HeadTeacher Mr James Pile

Mr Pile served at the school for 25years








1896 Girls Schoolmistress Mrs Bradburn

1903 - Education Act of 1902 places the control of Schools in the hands of the Local Authority

Managers listed as

Rev W Jervis
Mr H Turner
Mr A Pettit
Mr F Welstead
Mr Hitchcock

1905 - The school was run under three separate departments. Boys, Girls and Infants
Mrs Dupont left after 33 years service and the girls placed under the care of Miss Cobb

1908 - Miss Christine Harris, teacher ( see 1952 entry)

1909 - Primary School

1911 -Girls Schoolmistress Sarah Hitchcock

1915 - Cleaner insured under Employer Liability Act

1916 - Head Teacher, Frederick Pickering
By this time the School had amalgamated all the children under the control of one Headteacher

1918 - School granted 40 tons of coal for the winter, also 10,000 cu ft of gas.
So the school must have had two forms of heating

1919 - Proposed to install Central Heating by the Managers
The Local Authority asks what proportion of the installation costs would the managers be
prepared to pay out of their own pocket. An agreement was reached with the LEA paying 50%
It was converted from solid fuel to Oil. The installation was then a total failure in heating the school rooms. Until the problems were resolved, mobile gas heaters were situated all around the classrooms

1919 - Windows enlarged in all rooms

1921 - Heating failed again

1926 - The Managers planned a DIY repair programme for the playground, Water was running into the road and the stoke hole for the CH boiler. This had to be pumped out several times.
One Manager offered to spread gravel over the playground and another offered the use of his roller.
It is not known the outcome of this venture

1929 - Question arose - "Who is liable when the children play on the Recreation Ground for organised games"
The Local Authority suggests the Parish Council

1929 - A central school at Stoke by Nayland was proposed
This would cater for the children after 6 years of primary education.
Bures would lose 30 children if this took place

1932 - Head Teacher, Mr Hugh Creek

1933 - Because of Mr Creek, Bures would become the woodwork centre for Nayland, Assington, Stoke and Bures

1934 - School Concert to raise funds for the Sports Fund raised £10.10

1934 - CH still giving problems

1935 -Central School proposal - the Managers strongly suggested that Bures should be the location of such an establishment.
Parents were alarmed at the thought of their children cycling to Stoke along the windy Nayland Rd -
No bus in those days

1937/8 - Electric Light installed

1938 - Mount Bures school closed with some of the children transferring to Bures

1939 - 32 evacuees from London admitted to the school on September 11th ( all on the same day)

1949 - Canteen opened in September

1951 - 142 children on roll between the ages of 5 and 15

1952 - Miss Christine Harriss who had been at the School since 1908 asked for an extension to her service of 44 yrs. An extension was granted but within a few weeks she died on Oct 20th 1952

1952 - Transfer of pupils from Assington to Bures commencing the Christmas Term.
Numbers increased to 150

1953 - Staff room and cycle sheds added

1953 - 2000 - an abundance of minor building alterations

1958 - Head Teacher, Mr Maddeley

1958: Stoke Middle School opened which drastically reduced the numbers at Bures

1962 - Head Teacher Mr Poppleton

1964 - 29th June opening of the outside Swimming Pool by Sir Joshua and Lady Rowley

1967- Mr Poppleton was the last HeadTeacher to live in the house next door, It was subsequently put up For Sale when he moved out that year

1972 - Head Teacher, Mrs Marjorie Howard

1982: Head Teacher Mrs Penny Thewliss,

1985 - Head Teacher Mr John Swane

1994 - Head Teacher Mrs Mary Borges

2001 - Current Head Teacher Mrs Christine Furniss

2000 - Mobile classroom now demolished and new extension opened, Two classrooms including one for the Nursery

2007 - New Canteen and Hall erected

2012 - New extension to the rear, adjacent to Claypits Avenue with two classrooms

Please note the HeadTeachers information was taken from various Trade Directories and the dates may not be accurate until the 1900`s

Private Schools in Bures


1844 -Whites Directory lists "H Lewis, Boarding and Day School"
Whereabouts unknown

1855 -School for Academics - Samuel Grimwood
Whereabouts unknown

1888 -Miss Beard - Preparatory school for Boys at Rose Cottage, Cuckoo Hill
(could be at Bures Green)

1864 - Dames Schools - these were mainly education taught in private homes by women
Fee was 3d to 4d per week
The School log book of 1864 and 1865 refer to "admissions from a Dame School"
Whereabouts unknown
There was certainly a Dame School at Mount Bures

Circa late 1800
Mrs Handleys (Bures resident) mother went to a private school which was located in either
Basils or Betty Pilgrims house along the Sudbury Road.

This material originated from notes written by Mrs Howard, Head teacher 1972 -1982
Acknowledgment to Marion Howard ( daughter)for allowing use of this material

Additional material taken from the SCC RO