Castleton Schools

Many thanks to Margaret Frank for kindly submitting the following information about Castleton schools, from material found in Pigots Directory 1815, Glover's Trade Directory 1846, the 1851 census and Brooksbank papers at Sheffield City Archives.
  • In 1649, Bagshaw's Gift devised a house (used as a school) and garden at Castleton, with lands at Edale, consisting of 65 acres of  inclosure, with common rights, to trustees, who were to pay the rents accruing therefrom, towards the schooling of poor children in Castleton parish.  However, the first school recorded in Castleton was in 1687 in a conveyance of land by the Bagshaw family of Goosehill Hall.  Stephen Hall is recorded as Schoolmaster in the same year. 
  • Stephen Hall is also mentioned by Richard Bagshaw, who donated The Schoolhouse in Castleton in 1721.
  • The school is referred to by Rev. Edward Bagshaw in his return to the Bishop of Lichfield in 1751, stating that it is an endowed school, catering for some 46 children taught by Joseph Bray, whose wife died 1st October 1778.
  • In the 1700's, various charity returns show that a number of people gave money and property for the education of poor children in Castleton.    Benefactors include Alice Staveley (1781), Mary Staveley (1785), Thomas Dakin (1706), How's Charity (1818), Pott's and Tym's gifts and Bray's, Needham's and Gisborne's Charities.
  • In his Last Will, dated 1720, Edward Bennet left the profits of a farm he had purchased from Thomas Eyre to be used as follows:  "40s a year to be distributed at Christmas amongst the poor and needful in Castleton.  The remainder of the rent to pay for 3 poor children with schooling until the age of 14".
  • Mr Charles Potts also gave 20s to purchase lands for the education of poor children at Bagshaw's school in 1724 and James Whittington left £100 in 1792, the interest to pay for education of at least 12 boys and girls living in Castleton.
  • The first identifiable school house is recorded in the Town Survey of 1819 in the Market Place, catering for the education of 19 children, although a total of 60 children are recorded as attending various Castleton schools in that year.  The school comprised a dwelling house and small garden for the school master, William Dakin.  Dakin was succeeded by Robert Hall, who served in post for 32 years, from 1819 to 1851.  Hall was born in Castleton around 1787 By 1841, the school had moved to the present site of the modern school, but it was said to be in poor condition, dirty and badly ventilated.  In 1851, Frances, Robert Hall's 39 year old daughter, was serving as his assistant.
  • In a report of 1841, the school inspector said that the children of Castleton were very badly taught and "the master appeared intractable and unwilling to receive any suggestion and perhaps the most charitable opinion that one can form of him is that he is partially crazed".  Sir William Bagshaw became concerned about Hall's teaching ability and drew up a document for him to receive a sum of £126 that allowed Sir William to appoint a new schoolmaster, with Hall relinquishing all rights as master and tenant of the school house in 1851.
  • William Shallcross and Mary Waugh were teachers at the endowed school in 1857.
  • The Armstrong Academy for Young Ladies was situated in Burrow Fold - later to become a private house.  It was a fee paying school run by Mary Armstrong.  It was first recorded in 1835, when Mary was 59 years old and was later taken over by her daughters, Mary and Sarah.  When Mary died in 1870, her niece Sara Raywood ran the school, while Sarah Armstrong ran a boarding school for four pupils in Dakins Fold in 1851.
  • Needhams School was run at Goose Hill between 1835 and 1851.  This was a school for boys, run by Septimus Needham.  Following a very bad inspector's report, the boys were rehoused in Goose Hill and the girls were taught in a school room in a barn in the same street.  To get to their school, the boys had to "pass through a wicket gate at the end of old Mrs Needham's house, round her back door, through the kitchen and up the stairs to a room furnished with a few forms and one chair and on into the school room itself which had a large window overlooking the path at Lunnon's Back.  It had a large wooden beam for a roof support which was just high enough for the bigger boys to pass under".
  • A school was also run at Nags Head Cottage in Market Square in 1843, led by Schoolmistress, Miss Hartle. 
  • In 1840 a school was run in Pindale Road by Isaac Hall.
  • The present school opened in 1863.