Froxfield School history
The Froxfield story began in January 1722, when wealthy local landowner Robert Love died. He left £1,000 in his will to found a Charity School, with the aim to ‘educate twenty of the poorest boys in the village for ever’.
It took 12 years for his heir and nephew, Richard Love, to carry out the pledge – and in 1734 the Charity School opened. The building at Froxfield Green cost £200 (a lot of money in those days), while a School Master and five Trustees were appointed to run the new school.
The success of the school was closely tied to the nearby manor at Basing Park, where the Loves held residence.
Spaces for pupils at the school were announced at church services in the original, ancient church of St Peter-on-the-green. Age of entry appears to have been from four to 13, and these children were also given clothes. Account entries showing payments for hats, shoes, cloth and breeches – plus pens, primers and paper – are still visible today.
A day in the life of a Froxfield student – 200 years ago
The children were taught to ‘read, write and cast account well’, as Robert Love had wished. This was ‘so that when they go afterwards abroad as servants in husbandry or such like a strict good education may be some great advantage to them.’
The school week lasted six days during term time. At first the Trustees allowed the children two half day holidays a week, before this changed to a whole day off on Saturdays. Holidays of two to three weeks were also given at Christmas, and three or four at Harvest – quite a bit less than modern summer holidays!
In 1876 the trustees had a new school for all the children of the parish built more centrally at High Cross, Froxfield, where the new parish church had also been built.
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