In the late 1790s a Ladies Academy was opened at the Bell Inn, Broadway, jointly owned and run by Mrs Smith and Miss Cottrill and later by Mrs. Smith and Miss Kempson. The Academy offered boarding and full time education for girls.
The following advertisement appeared in the Oxford Journal on 12 July 1794:
Mrs. Smith and Miss Cottrill beg Leave to inform their Friends that they continue their Boarding School at Broadway for the Education of young Ladies, immediately after the Midsummer Vacation; when every Attention conducive to the Improvement and Happiness of their Pupils will be their unremitting Care. – Mrs. Smith and Miss Cottrill return Thanks to their former Friends, and hope for a Continuance of their Patronage.
Board (which will be included Washing) £12 12s 0d
Entrance £1 1s 0d
Dancing, Musick, Writing, Arithmetic etc. by the most approved Masters, on the usual Terms. – Every Lady will be expected to bring a Pair of Sheets and two Towels, which will be returned on their leaving School.
N.B. The School will open again the 21st of July, 1894.
On 5 August 1809, Mrs Smith published the following statement – published in the Worcester Journal on 17 August 1809.
Mrs Smith very respectfully begs leave to inform the Parents and Guardians of the respective Young Ladies who have been entrusted to her care, and the Friends to her Academy, that the Partnership between herself and Miss Kempson is Dissolved by mutual consent. Mrs Smith thins she should be remisss if she did not embrace the present opportunity of expressing her gratitude for the liberal encouragement she has experienced during her residence at Broadway for the last sixteen years, and soliciting a continuance of their patronage and support; assuring them the Young Ladies will be treated, in every respect, with the utmost care as to their health and confort, as also constantly attended by the most approved Masters, in the several branches of Education.
N.B. All Debts due to the late Firm are to be paid to Mrs Smith, who is duly authorised to receive, and pay all those due the same.
Miss Kempson moved to set up an academy for girls in Alcester. The Ladies Academy continued under the sole ownership of Mrs Smith until December 1824.
Miss Gould took over running the Academy in January 1825 (reopened under Miss Gould on 21 January 1825) and in 1840 it was taken over by Elizabeth Ashwin.
By the end of the 1800s, Picton House had been sold and was owned by George Phillipps.