St James's Church, Hampton Hill

Chapter 4 - The Schools of St James’s Church, Hampton Hill

'The Birth and Growth of Hampton Hill'

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During the greater part of the nineteenth century, the Church of England was the chief builder of schools in this country. In 1851 there were 17,015 Church of England schools, containing nearly a million children, out of a total school population of about two and a half million. Much of the building was of high standard, and some of these “Gothic” structures may still be seen in rural areas today.

By the time the schools of St. James’s, Hampton Hill, were started, the State had begun to concern itself with education. Grants were paid to schools founded by the Established Church, commonly known as the National Schools and to those of the British Society, a Nonconformist body. The children in these schools were examined yearly in the three R’s by Her Majesty’s Inspectors, the amount of grant being assessed on the success of each individual pupil. The extension of State control was very slow, for the opposition to it was both religious and political. The Church of England opposed undenominational religious teaching, and many nonconformists opposed aid to church schools from taxation. The first great Education Act was passed in 1870, and the Hampton Hill schools were founded just before this.

In 1867, the Vicar of St. James’s, the Rev. Fitzroy John Fitz Wygram, finding that only 13 children out of a population of 1,100 attended any sort of school, made a grant of land in Mill Lane to the Vicar and church-wardens “on trust for the education of children and adults, or children only, of labourers, manufacturing and other poorer classes, and for no other purpose.” The schools were to be carried on according to the principles of the National Society, and were to be subject to inspection. The committee of management was to be composed of Communicant Members of the Church, subscribing at least 20s. per annum to the schools, with a beneficial interest in real property in the parish, or resident therein, or in a parish adjoining. These qualifications were strictly adhered to, for we learn that a Mr. Cremer had become disqualified in 1870, being no longer a Communicant, and having stopped his subscriptions in 1869.

In the accounts of 1867 it appears that the cost of building the schools was about £315. The financing was anxious work, and the funds for running the schools came chiefly from three sources: the church offertories and donations, the Government grant and the children’s pence. In 1870 there were thirteen subscribers. Those giving l0s. per annum or more, met annually and had the privilege of electing three members to the committee of management. The children’s pence amounted to 11s. a year, about 3d. a week each, and in 1869 a fund had been started to pay the fees of those whose parents could not afford to do so, so that no child should be denied education.

The children of non-members of the Church of England were admitted to the schools, as were, for a long time, children from neighbouring parishes. The Boys’ School was where the Church Hall stands today. The Girls’ and Infants’ building is still standing in School Road, and is today a warehouse. Beyond the warehouse on the same side, are the two Teachers’ houses, built in 1886. In 1867 School Road was a country lane with a narrow entrance from Windmill Lane, and as the school bell rang, some two hundred boys, girls and infants wended their dusty or muddy way, to sit at long, backless desks from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and from 2 to 4.15 p.m. Very little was spent on equipment, so we must imagine them writing on slates, sharing reading brooks, and learning much by repetition. Scripture, Catechism and Church History were obviously lovingly taught, for the yearly reports of the Diocesan Inspectors are almost uniformly good throughout the school’s history. Her Majesty’s Inspectors always wrote favourably of the needlework and knitting. But school days were a brief period in the life of a child in the ‘60s. The leaving age was eleven and a large number seem to have left before their eleventh birthday, so the average length of schooling was about four years.

By 1870 the Boys’ School needed enlargement, and there were more than two hundred children in the schools. Five years later an Industrial Department was opened, mainly to prepare pupils for domestic service, but telegraphy was taught, the Vicar having given the necessary apparatus. He had also provided some new ground at the rear of the school to enable the boys to play cricket. The Industrial School closed in 1882, and the room was added to the Girls’ School.

This year saw the passing of the first great Education Act, and the shadow of the State began to fall across the church schools. The aim of this Act was “to complete the voluntary system and fill up the gaps with schools run by the School Boards appointed for this purpose.” Where the existing schools, such as those of Hampton Hill, were found to be efficiently run, they were to continue to be grant-aided, and to serve their district as “public elementary schools.” In 1876 attendance at school was made compulsory and parents were fined for the non-attendance, without reasonable cause, of their children. From the pages of the SURREY COMET we learn that the fine was usually ls.

After 1870 there were regulations to be kept and Government forms to be filled, the first, in 1871, “after a long discussion” by the Committee. They, and many other people felt two objections to the new Board Schools: religious teaching was to be undenominational, and the schools were to be supported from the local rates. Naturally the Committee felt strongly on the first point, and the second was usually adduced as an incentive to give voluntarily and thus avoid compulsory higher rates.

The staff at the St. James’s Schools consisted of a certificated teacher at the head of each division, uncertificated assistants and pupil teachers (that is boys and girls in their teens training to be teachers). The first infants’ mistress, Miss Thornton, was paid 12s. a week. She was not altogether satisfactory showing “a want of temper (good?) and forbearance towards the children,” and she resigned after three years. The next was paid rather more, £47 per annum. In 1871 the head teacher of the girls received £60 per annum and Mr. Martin, of the boys, £70.

In 1873 the new classroom was added to the boys’ school, and in the next year the Vicar himself paid for an extra classroom and an enlarged porch for the girls. Miss Eastbank was appointed as head teacher of the girls at a salary of £75 per annum and a house furnished “with the exception of plate and linen.” In this year Mr. Martin asked for a rise (this occurs constantly in the Minutes) and received £10. Gratuities were sometimes paid to the teachers after a favourable report by the Inspectors on their work.

The pupil teachers, for whom the Government paid a grant of £15 a year, learnt from their superiors, and were given about 4s. a week, with grants of l0s. from time to time for books. Under this system not much that was new or experimental had a chance of permeating education, and the mass of English teachers were ignorant of the ideas of Pestalozzi and Froebel until the twentieth century. As might be imagined, not all pupil teachers settled happily to their work. One Thomas Ferris, in 1874, absented himself for three days with the intention of enlisting in the army. However, he must have thought better of it, for he returned to express “his sincere sorrow and the promise to discharge his duties faithfully,” and was taken back again. Two years later another was “severely reprimanded for his idleness and bad conduct,” and his mother was sent for. This may be explained perhaps by a later entry that his health was “unsatisfactory,” and he had to go. Generally speaking, the system, though we can see its imperfections, seems to have worked well. From time to time there is a mention of the salaries of monitors (a shilling or so a week), and these, one presumes, were the older children who helped to keep order and tidiness in the classroom.

In 1878 fifty girls from the Female Orphanage in Hanworth Road (where the Mission Hall now stands) came to the St. James’s School, and made the numbers, which hitherto had lagged far behind those of the boys, more or less equal (143). The story has a sad ending. In 1890, in a circular letter to ratepayers concerning the financial state of the Hampton Hill schools, it is stated that the education of these orphan children involved a loss of l0s. each a year, as Nonconformists paid no voluntary contributions, only the fees. There ensued an acrimonious correspondence between the managers and the secretary of the Home as to whether the Orphanage was a Nonconformist Institution. The Vicar, the Rev. Henry Bligh, said that all the orphans were withdrawn from the Catechism lesson, and attended the Congregational Church on Sundays, which seemed pretty conclusive evidence. As to the loss of money, the managers feared that they might have to charge the Home more for educating their children. The result was that the orphans were withdrawn from the school at the end of the year 1890.

Mention has been made of the yearly visits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. From their reports was assessed the Government grant for the year, so we may imagine the admonitions to achieve clean boots, collars and pinafores, and the anxiety of the teachers and pupils that all should go well.

The Inspectors themselves were not always above reproach! One forgot the day of the inspection, and the children had been working for two hours by the time he arrived. It was felt that this accounted for his not very favourable report that arithmetic and reading “throughout are barely good enough,” though other subjects were praised, and the boys were “duly under command.” Another Inspector complained of fidgetiness, but it was said by the teachers that “the children were detained so long after their usual dinner hour that it is no wonder they became rather fidgety.” Quietness and orderliness pleased the inspectors and were always the subject of comment.

In 1882 the Schools’ Committee complained of the “continually increasing demands of the Education Department for greater variety of reading books and other book requisites” and indeed the Minutes show that demands continued to increase. In the next year a “box of objects” was suggested for the infants, with a demand for “occupations of an interesting and instructive sort” and suitable wall-pictures; and a little later that “a cupboard in the (girls’) classroom would be a great advantage.” They harped upon the provision of desks suited to the size of the children, on the desirability of more reading books, of an “instrument” to make singing lessons more interesting. They commented on the cleanliness of the school buildings, and sometimes after their visits the caretaker was “spoken to.” One rather curious entry in the Minutes in 1884 complains of the high cost of gas in the boys’ school and says that it “was unnecessarily kept burning for the purpose of cleaning the school.” This seems rather mysterious. Should the caretaker have cleaned in the dark?

The Sanitary Inspector came to view what are usually called in the Minutes “the offices” and to comment on the drainage of the school yards. In 1885 the Vicar reported that “the closets and cesspools had been altogether condemned” and the Inspector had suggested “a system of pails to be emptied every day.” The Committee, more wisely one might think, decided to go into the matter of having water laid on, and eventually this was done.

Some twenty years after the foundation of the schools therefore the picture has changed. They are no longer the concern of the Committee alone, a local and parochial matter. They have to conform to what is becoming a national system. Forms must be filled in, registers meticulously kept, teachers’ pay recorded (the auditor had complained of the “loose method of payment“). The Diocesan Inspectors, Her Majesty’s Inspectors, School Attendance Officers, the Sanitary Inspector all make their reports, and, worst of all from the Committee’s point of view, costs go up and up.

The contributions of St. James’s Church to the upkeep of the schools were derived chiefly from the offertories and other subscriptions. The number of the latter was never very large, and in 1881, just after the death of the founder, the Rev. Fitz Wygram, it was decided to appoint a collector who should be paid a 5 per cent commission. The offertory had averaged £47 over the previous three years and the voluntary subscriptions were said to be “small in comparison with the size and importance of the parish.”

From time to time money was raised for the schools by special efforts, and the rooms were the centres of local festivities on payment of a small fee. For instance, in February, 1876, Mr. Hunt (W. A. Hunt, Esq., B.A.) gave a Magic Entertainment in aid of the schools and the following account of it appeared in the SURREY COMET:-
“Although Mr. Hunt is but an amateur, yet he succeeded in bewildering the spectators by a series of surprises, most cleverly performing some of the most notable tricks . . . in rapid succession. He also filled up the very short intervals with conversation so full of drollery and humour (much of which he improvised) besides double entendres, the meanings of which were clearly perceptible and never ungraceful, that the greatest satisfaction was felt by all, and not least by Mr. Hunt himself who found that his efforts had produced £11 for the schools. In short, so great has his succeess been, that this gentleman will be for some days the most popular man in the district.”

In the same year the boys themselves were entertained in their school. One hundred and forty scholars had “an excellent tea,” all who had attended for more than 400 half days were given prizes and a spelling bee (a favourite form of amusement at this time) concluded the festivity. This must have been one of many such treats.

The school rooms were let for various activities - the New Hampton Cottagers’ Flower Show, for instance, and for Dramatic Entertainments, mostly in aid of the school funds. In the winter of 1884, the Working Men’s Club asked permission to hold a dance in the boys’ room. This was given, but it was discovered that (horror of horrors), it was to be a fancy dress dance, and that it had been publicly advertised. A special meeting of the Managers had to be held, indignant parishioners threatened to withdraw their subscriptions to the schools, a list of stringent rules for the conduct of the dance was drawn up - no public advertisement, no fancy dress, no intoxicating liquor, all damage to be paid for and everything left ready for the next day’s school - upon acceptance of which “it was resolved that the dance be allowed to take place.” Let us hope that it was a great success. Anyhow the room was booked for the Annual Private Dance again next year.

In 1892 the Vicar announced that he had procured a Music Licence for the Boys’ School, on condition that the County Council’s rules were complied with, i.e., all doors must open outwards and twelve buckets for water had to be purchased. The local Press considered the productions worthy of long and glowing reports, and one more extract must serve as an example of the usual write-ups :-
April 11th, 1891. Theatricals at the Schools.
“The drama appears to be as popular as ever among the residents of Hampton Hill which has long held a leading position in the neighbourhood for this particular class of entertainment. In aid of the school funds, Hampton Hill Theatre performed Jerome K. Jerome’s Sunset, followed by Mr. J. Planche’s The Jacobite. . . . The cast included Mr. W. P. Durham, Mr. J. C. Bairne, Mr. V. C. Griffiths, Miss Butler ‘a charming Lady Somerford,’ Miss Roe and Miss Inez Roe ‘always a favourite in any character and on any stage’.”

Thus the schools served as a centre not only for the children’s schooling but for their social life (together with the Vicarage itself) and that of the surrounding ordinary folk, gathering in their societies and clubs, until other halls were built, and Hampton Hill lost its village-like character.

By 1889 the schools were in financial difficulties, and at the October meeting of the Committee it was proposed by the Vicar, “that unless some sufficient remedy be found for our present financial difficulty, the schools must be closed on December 31st, 1889.” Five hundred and thirty-seven children were on the books, so it would have been a serious matter for the neighbourhood. The Committee decided to circulate notices to the parishioners and to the ratepayers of Hampton Hill, and two hundred were reserved for Hampton. Notice was given to the teachers that their agreements would be terminated on December 31st.

The recipients of the circulars were requested to vote either for the continuance of the church schools or for the opening of a Board School. Of seven hundred circulars sent out, two hundred and twenty were returned. One hundred were against a Board School, fifteen in favour and the rest neutral; subscriptions of £22 were promised and donations of £38 given. Although disappointed by the small monetary response, the Committeee decided to carry on the schools, and to seek donations from the Hampton Water Companies. It was felt that they might well be asked, as many of the children were those of Water Company employees. The first subscriptions from the companies were made in 1896.

There is an interesting account in the Minutes of a meeting held in 1889, with the Vicar the Rev, and Hon. H. Bligh, in the chair. There was “a large and representative attendance . . .” the threat of the School Board was greeted with “applause and hisses,” figures were quoted to show the cost of the rate-aided schools (1s. 1d. in Feltham); it was pointed out that the church schools had a “conscience clause” and that many Non-conformist children were educated in the St. James’s Schools. They paid their 11s. in fees, but their parents did not subscribe; that the schools were highly efficient, earning a Govemment grant of 19s. a head, as against the national average of 17s. The general desire was obviously that the schools should be continued, and so the crisis was surmounted, albeit somewhat anxiously.

In the 1890’s alterations were made to accommodate more children, and Mr. Martin, who had been the Head Teacher of the Boys for over twenty years, “absented himself from his duties” for ten days, and his appointment was declared vacant. He had worked hard in Hampton Hill as choirmaster for a time, in the night school (founded in 1882) as well as carrying on his ordinary duties, and the Minutes give no hint as to the reason for his sudden departure. Mr. Basey, formerly an assistant teacher at Hampton Hill and then Head Teacher of the Bluecoat School, Great Yarmouth, was appointed in his place at a salary of £100 per annum and a rent-free teacher’s house.

In 1891 Lord Salisbury’s Government passed an Act making education free in the State schools and permitting the voluntary schools to follow suit. A grant of l0s. a child based on the average attendance, caused a loss of income to the Hampton Hill schools, where the children’s pence amounted to 11s. a head. However the infants’ school was made free and it was decided that the boys and girls should pay 1d. a week. This arrangement caused endless trouble. In 1896 the Hampton District Council passed a resolution and sent a copy to the managers, requesting information about the number of children “sent home for the 1d. fine.” The managers were most indignant, and, after stating that there was “no such thing as a 1d. fine, but a 1d. fee due on behalf of every child in the boys’ and girls’ departments, and sanctioned by the Education Department,” refused to give any more information. The 1d. fee was, however, discontinued altogether in 1897.

This was not the only instance of what the managers regarded as interference. In 1897 the Council wanted to know why “boys . . . are sent away during the school hours in search of absentees, seeing that the School Attendance Officer is paid out of the rates for this duty.” The managers replied tartly that “the desired object might be attained if the Attendance Officer could give more time to his work.” Nevertheless the practice was stopped.

Another effort was made to increase subscriptions. It was decided to ask ladies “who might be better able to plead the cause” to undertake this work. This, by the way, is the first time that women are mentioned in connection with the schools, except as teachers. The lady collectors, who included Mrs. Fitz Wygram, were indeed more successful than their predecessors and collected £75 in 1892. Expenses, however, continued to rise. The buildings were getting old, and new demands were constantly being made by the Local Board, for example, “a screen in front of the girls’ closets” and “proper ash-boxes.” Some relief was, however, achieved when, in 1894, the Local Board advised that the schools were not in future to pay the general district rate.

In the 1890’s, some 20 years after the Education Act of 1870, illiteracy had been banished, and the basis of education was being widened. The teachers were given fees to attend classes in the giving of object lessons and “varied occupations” after a long discussion in the Committee. Prizes were given annually, a board containing the names of boys who obtained scholarships to Trade Schools was put up in the schoolroom, pupil teachers were given a weekly half-holiday and the school leaving ‘age was raised to twelve (1899). In 1895 a Fancy Fair raised £295 towards the building of a new classroom for the boys.

In 1896 the managers complained to the District Council about the state of Windmill Road at the entrance to School Road, “churned up into soft mud . . . to the great discomfort and danger to health of about five hundred school children who have to pass through it four times a day” and as well, the danger from “rapidly driven vehicles.” Three years later the Vicar reported to the Committee that “owing to the execrable state of the School Road, he had had the mud carted away at a cost of £3.” He wrote to the District Council asking them to repay him, but a letter in reply “held out no hopes of their doing so . . .” After a good deal of correspondence about liability, the road was made up and paid for out of the rates.

Actually the children seem to have been remarkably healthy. The only disease mentioned in the Minutes before the twentieth century is measles, an outbreak of which caused the schools to be shut for two or even three weeks and disinfected. After 1900 there is mention of whooping cough, diphtheria, chicken pox and influenza.

Difficulties continued to multiply, and in 1897 the schools were declared to be “necessitous” by the managers, “because, notwithstanding the fact that £120-£130 is raised annually by considerable effort from voluntary sources, the teaching staff can only be maintained at a low minimum and at low salaries. The school apparatus is old and much of it requires renewal and further additions are needed. When the New Code, requiring a larger staff comes into operation, an additional teacher must be appointed. Special efforts for raising additional funds for repairs have to be made every few years, as no reserve fund can be kept out of our ordinary income for this purpose.” However, after the Voluntary Schools Act of 1897, the managers joined the London Diocesan Association and received grants from this source. In 1902 the Inspectors were able to report that “the premises have been nicely done up and new offices provided.”

In 1902 another important Education Act was passed which, among many other changes, altered the position of the Voluntary Schools by giving them aid from the rates. Hereafter, the Middlesex Education Committee was represented on the Board of Management of the Hampton Hill Schools. The span of school life became five-fourteen years, though a child could leave at twelve if it had a certificate showing it had reached Standard VI. Success in examinations at the age of eleven enabled a girl or boy to proceed to grammar, or to the State secondary schools set up after this Act, and there to be educated to the age of sixteen or eighteen.

The early twentieth century saw widening curricula in the elementary schools, but there was greater public control of the church schools. Uniformity was secured in school holidays and the payment of teachers, whose appointment had to be approved by the Middlesex Education Committee. But there was less uniformity in teaching. Teachers were now expected to show enterprise and originality, and the old system of “payment by results” was abandoned. (What a relief this must have been to teachers and children!) In 1908 for the first time, the Inspectors reported on the “individuality and enterprise” of the infants, instead of “orderliness” and “good marching.” In this year, too, began the medical inspection of schoolchildren, and many a child thought to be stupid or inattentive, must have been found to be suffering from a degree of deafness or defective sight.

With the introduction of new subjects, the day’s lessons became more varied: dressmaking and cookery for the girls, manual training, such as woodwork, for the boys and swimming lessons for both. Land for school gardens was acquired and evening school was started successfully and had “promise for the future.” (H.M.I.)

The observance of Empire Day “by exercises of a patriotic character and in pleasant instruction in matters pertaining to the Empire and its responsibilities . . . saluting the flag . . . the afternoon to be a half-holiday in which some form of patriotic entertainment . . . might be provided” was suggested by the Earl of Meath in 1904 and was honoured in the schools. The programmes of songs and recitations are given in the parish magazines. A flagstaff and flag was provided for the boys’ school in 1907, and perhaps the whole school marched round the playground and saluted the flag as was the custom in many schools.

Meanwhile more amenities were being added: seats in the playground, screens to divide classes, incandescent gas, one dozen yards of towelling, the supervision of children in the dinner hour and a “space rule” of ten square feet for seniors and nine for juniors in the school room. Fire drill and practices were begun and children were to be insured against accidents. These innovations were mostly due to the regulations of the Middlesex County Council or the Board of Education. In 1911 (at last!) a woman was appointed by the Education Committee to the Board of Managers - forty-two years after the foundation of the schools. She was Miss Brewer, and she remained on the Board until her death in 1923.

National events have their repercussions in the Hampton Hill schools; in 1911 two days’ holiday for the Coronation of King George V. In the beginning of the 1914-1918 war, the girls made one hundred and thirty garments for soldiers, sailors and their dependants. Later the police ordered blinds to be put up to mask the windows in case of air raids. In 1916 (the year of the worst shortage of shells) we learn that the children were employed in “munition work “ and £2 6s. 0d. was paid to the Treasurer of the schools; an air-raid insurance policy was taken out by the managers and certificates were given instead of prizes; in 1917 the Education Committee issued a list of air-raid precautions. But peace came at last, and in 1919 the children had a week’s extra holiday to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

The period 1920-1928 saw a long tussle between the managers of the church schools and the Middlesex Education Committee. These schools had been successful in their appointed tasks as the reports of the Inspectors showed. Scholarships had been won to Twickenham County and Hampton Grammar Schools, but . . . the buildings were now old, and it became more and more difficult to keep up with the Council Schools. In 1920 the Middlesex County Council gave notice that it proposed to build a new boys’ school to accommodate four hundred. The managers made no objection to this, but they decided to take no action on the suggestion to unite the girls and infants under one head teacher.

In 1925 (when incidentally Mr. Basey resigned after thirty-five years as head of the boys’ school) it was reported that numbers in the girls’ department were falling. Some had left to attend Percy Road School, Hampton, where the more modern building was an attraction, and where there were better chances of gaining a scholarship owing to the greater staffing ratio in the Council School.

In 1924 the managers were informed that the Middlesex County Council proposed to build a mixed senior school in Windmill Road, and that the church schools should then accommodate infants and mixed juniors. The managers said that they were “strongly opposed to a mixed school in principle,” and referred the Council back to the 1920 plan. In 1925 the church schools were placed on the “black list,” and in the next year the Board of Education wrote to ask the managers’ intentions as to the future of their schools. Later in the year the Board outlined three schemes and the managers chose scheme two - a school for two hundred children to the age of nine. In 1927 Sir Benjamin Gott, the Middlesex Education Officer, attended a meeting of the managers and said that the Middlesex County Council would insist that the church school should be a mixed school. He then withdrew and left the managers to discuss the situation. They reiterated their view that they were being compelled to act against their principles, but they gave in. They appealed to the parishioners for funds to carry out the necessary repairs. The Rev. F. P. P. Harvey wrote, “The School Managers’ . . . one desire has been to do what is best for the children in the parish, and to devise some plan whereby the greatest number of children may still be kept under the influence of the Church . . . it is of the most extreme importance in these days that the children should be well grounded in the Faith upon which our great national character has been built up.” He called them to a meeting, and said that £150 would have to be raised that year. The response was so disappointing that the managers were compelled to report to the Middlesex County Council that “they have no alternative but to leave the matter in the hands of the Committee to provide the necessary accommodation.” So the attempt to maintain the schools as church schools came to an end in 1928.

It was perhaps inevitable. In every aspect of life, the trend was towards the larger units, and greater control by authorities national and local. What had been the small rural community of Hampton Hill was in process of becoming an urban area with a more sophisticated population. The farms and nursery gardens gave way to rows and rows of houses the inhabitants of which, linked by train and tram to larger urban districts, were mostly town workers in offices and shops. The church schools had, for two generations, played their part worthily in the production of a literate nation, making life richer and fuller for hundreds of children, a valuable link between rural and industrial England.

Note on the name Hampton Hill:

This name has been used throughout the above article, though the district was for some time known as New Hampton. The householders petitioned for the name to be changed to Hampton Hill, and on July 12, 1890, the Rev. and Hon. Henry Bligh received a letter from the Postmaster General’s Office to say that he had sanctioned the change of name.

The writer is much indebted to Miss A. E. Lush, pupil, monitor, pupil-teacher, non-certificated and later certificated teacher at the St. James’s Schools, who went on to the Windmill Road School in 1928 and retired in 1945. She has patiently answered a number of queries and been a mine of interesting information.

Note on the Teachers’ Houses:

In 1881, just before his death, the Rev. F. J. Fitz Wygram said that he was willing to provide a piece of land in Mill Lane to be used as a building site for two teachers’ houses, on condition that, should the schools be taken over by the School Board, the rents thereof should be available to the Vicar for the Sunday schools or other church purposes. Two years later the Committee resolved to build two houses at an estimated cost of £400, and £430 was raised for the purpose. In 1886 the site was acquired for £50 paid to the Fitz Wygram Trust, and in the September of that year the tender of Mr. Singleton, the Hampton builder, whose name figures constantly in the Minutes, for £410 l0s. 0d. (to include drainage, fences and gates but no gas-pipes) was accepted.

The houses were occupied by the head teachers of the boys’ and girls schools. They are pleasant little dwellings which can still be seen in School Road.

St James's Church
The Parish Church of St James, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ
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