Northamptonshire Schools


 Abthorpe Village School, Abthorpe, nr. Towcester


"Jane Leeson, living hard by in a Tudor house which is now the vicarage, "builded this house" in 1642 for a free school for ever." (Arthur Mee's Northamptonshire, 1949) . The building is now the village hall.

1818:  Population of Abthorpe = 424; Educational provision = A school, in which about 20 children are taught; the teacher's salary is £8 per annum, vested in feoffees. Source: Digest of Parochial Returns, 1818, Vol. II

Magdalen College School c1955, Brackley Magdalen College School, Brackley, c.1955

Image reproduced by kind permission of

1818:  A free grammar school, established and endowed by the founder of Magdalen College, Oxford, in which 10 boys are taught.  The master's salary is twenty marks per annum, and a house.  The funds arise from a house, garden and premises in Buckingham, left by the rev. Mr. Higgins, late rector of Finmere in Oxford, about the year 1715, part of the rents of which were to be applied in purchasing books for the use of the school, and part to purchase bread for the poor.  The premises are now worth about £12 or £14 per annum, and no more than 20s a year has been received for the last 60 or 70 years by the master; and it is feared, that if the affairs of the school are not investigated, the whole of the funds will be lost.

The late sir John Knightley, bart. left the interest of two-thirds of £200 towards the support of a Sunday school, but which is now applied in aid of a national day and Sunday school, which, with voluntary contributions, instructs 100 children, who are regular in their attendance.  Source: Digest of Parochial Returns, 1818, Vol. II

Description of interior, from Arthur Mee's Northamptonshire, 1949: "We pass through the original porch into the old entrance hall.  Much of the ancient hospital remains in this fine school group; the old refectory is now the library, and the buttery hatch remains in its place.  The dormitories have been modernised with such comforts as the monks never knew, but the boys of Brackley School sleep where the ancient brothers slept.  They worship in the original chapel ... In the library is a fine Tudor fireplace which replaced the hearth by which the monks sat in their refectory.  It was here that a remarkable discovery was made some years ago, when it was found that the great hearthstone was the 13th century altar stone, the heart of this old place when William of Waynflete found it.  The stone has been removed and restored to its original position.  It is one of the biggest stones of its kind in England, over nine feet long and three wide, weighing more than a ton, and still with its consecration crosses clear after 700 years.  Behind it rises the canopied stone reredos in memory of the 35 boys who gave their lives for England in the First World War."