St Michael's Church School, Broadway

Broadway’s National School

Broadway’s National School later known as St Michael’s National School, or St Michael’s Church School, was located on the High Street.

Members of the Church of England, seeing the success of Lancaster’s British Schools, decided to set up a similar system with teaching centred on the Church Liturgy and Catechism. The National Society for the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church was formed in 1811. Dr Andrew Bell, another proponent (and perhaps originator) of the monitorial system, was invited to organise the creation of the National Schools system.

Elizabeth Wylie’s National School

Miss Elizabeth Wylie (c1780-1855), ran the first national school for the poor in a converted stables in the grounds of her house, located between Picton House and South Place, on the High Street. On her death in 1855, she left £400 in her will to the Vicar and Churchwardens for the endowment of a school in the village. £259 13s 0d was later used to purchase the land and building.

Her house was sold by auction on 15 May 1855:

Worcester Journal, May 1855

Elizabeth Wylie’s house was purchased by Mrs Lucy Ashwin (née Holmes, widow of William Ashwin, Bell Cottage). Following the sale, Rev Franklin (Vicar of St Michael’s), removed the desks, benches and cupboard from the schoolroom. Lucy Ashwin subsequently took Rev Frankin to court over the removal of the fixtures and fittings from the schoolroom. The case was heard in the County Court on 16 November 1855. The Judge ruled that as the items were used in “acts of public charity”, that Lucy Ashwin should give them up and it was agreed dependent on Rev Frankin paying all associated costs.

Broadway’s National School – St Michaels’ Church School

In May 1857, G. Hunt of Evesham was appointed to build the new National School in Broadway (it is not known where the National School was located in the years between 1855 and 1857) but it is recorded that in 1855 Sarah Hedgcock was Headmistress.

The balance of Elizabeth Wylie’s endowment was invested in Government Bonds to provide an income for the school.

1863: The school had over 150 pupils on the school roll. In December, The Rev. J.W.D. Hernaman, HM’s Inspector inspected the school and reported that he supported an enlargement of the school buildings to accomodate the growing number of pupils.

1867: The children who left the school in 1867 (from the School’s Register):

  • Charles Thomas Alcock (1858-1876)
  • George Bellinger 
  • Esther Chandler
  • Ann Cotterell (Cotterell)
  • Emma Collett
  • Clara Cook
  • Ellen Cook
  • Elizabeth Francis
  • Thomas Francis
  • Kate Griffin
  • Minnie Hartle
  • Charles Hayes
  • Henry Holder
  • Harriet Hopkins
  • Chas Humpidge
  • Albert Hunt
  • David Hunt
  • John Keyte
  • Emma Leach
  • Mercy Mealin
  • Jane Parker
  • Mary A. Sandals
  • Rose Spiers
  • John Stanley
  • Caroline Talbot
  • William Talbot
  • Alfred Wells

    31 August 1869: The foundation stone of a new schoolroom was laid by the School’s Treasurer, Alderman Isaac Averill.

From the Evesham Journal, 4th September 1869:

A very interesting ceremony, the laying of the foundation stone of a new schoolroom took place here on Tuesday evening last. The choristers having assembled in the old rooms and put on their surplices, a procession formed consisting of the choir, the vicar, the churchwardens, the school committee, the architect and the builder. On reaching the site of the new room, the proceedings were commenced by Rev. C.S. Caffin (vicar), who intoned the service, the choir responding with the ordinary plain song. Psalms 101, 125, 127 were chanted to their proper tones (Gregorian) and No. 137 hymn, Ancient and Modern was sung, while Issaac Averill, Esq., treasurer of the school was laying the stones. Some short prayers with hymn 230, brought the service to a close. M.R. Bedford, Esq., kindly lent for the occasion the mallet and trowel used by his uncle, the late Michael Russell, Esq., in laying the first stone of the church (St. Michael’s), on 13th August 1839. The building will be a great addition to the present school accommodation (being 50 feet long by 20 wide) as well as an ornament to the village. Mr Hunt of Evesham is the architect, and the design does him great credit. The building is being erected by Mr. Gill of Bourton, the occupier of the Broadway stone quarries. The total cost will be upwards of £600, towards which £500 is already promised. The vicar, churchwardens, or treasurer will gladly receive further donations. The work will be completed by Christmas.

1870s -1890s

December 1879: A football match took place between the school and Chipping Campden Grammar School. The match drew with no score. “On the Broadway side there was some very good play and James Roberts made a capital back”.

1880: School attendance had become compulsory for all children between 5 and 10 years of age.

The school was extended when a new classroom measuring 50’x20′ was added. Horatio Ellwood was Headmaster (he retired in 1883) and Miss Clements headed up the Infants Department.

August 1880: The Annual School Feast took place. The children assembled at the vicarage orchard and walked in procession to the Church, headed by the Broadway Band, where Rev. Caffin held a service. The children marched back to the vicarage for tea and games and the sang songs accompanied by Mr Ellwood (Headmaster) on the piano.

1883: The headship passed to Mr William ‘Billy’ Timms (he was also Organist, Choirmaster and Sunday School Superintendent at St Michael’s Church). He was just 25 years of age and his wife, Edith, had joined the school in 1879.

During 1883, the leaving-age was increased to 11.

1887: The School Clock, known as ‘The Dummy’ was erected to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.

June 1897: the school was closed for a period of time due to an outbreak of measles in the village.

1900s to the Closure of the School in 1914:

11 April 1901: Ald. Isaac Averill suffered a stroke whilst visiting the school and he retired from assisting with the running of the school in November 1901.

June 1901: Several complaints were received regarding children playing ninth street opposite the Old Schools. The Evesham Journal reported:

Cyclists need experience no annoyance now as a boy will be stationed outside the School with a whistle or bell to stop games when any trap or cycle is seen approaching.

In 1907, the Parish Council discussed purchasing land behind Eadburgha House from Isaac Averill to provide a playground for the pupils. John Jacques Jnr. offered to purchase the land if a reasonable price could be agreed.

Empire Day, 24th May 1902: The school children were given a school holiday. The whole school attended a church service at St Michael’s Church. The children paraded down to the church from the schoolrooms carrying flags and wearing red and blue rosettes. Billy Timms had written a song for the children to sing whilst marching to the Church but Sid Knight, who was in the parade wrote in his book, Cotswold Lad, that this wasn’t performed as planned and the children marched silently to Church. 

December 1904: Before the school closed for Christmas, Captain Rogers presented money boxes each one containing a shilling to: Ernest Berry, Jack Roberts and Ernest Meadows. Toys were also distributed to the children.

18 June 1912: A new school for Broadway was raised at the Parish Council Meeting held at the National Schools. Chaired by Mr. G.B. Game, others present included: A. Renfrew, E.L. Foss, Austin R. Williams, H. Keyte, S.B. Russell, Henry S.A. Sanford, J. Jacques junior, A.W. Bailey, W. Halford, S. Cotterell and J. Cotterell. The Parish Council had received a letter from the Education Department, Worcestershire County Council which advised that it was their intention to erect schools in the parish and asked for any objections. The District Council had already earmarked land belonging to the village that was not required for the new cottages being built along Leamington Road (a couple of other sites had been considered near Broadway Station). 

The Parish Council appointed G.W. Hunt and Thomas Bateman to design the new school.

22 December 1914: The Old Church Schools closed after and pupils moved to the new Broadway Council School.

St Michael's Church School, Broadway
St Michael’s National Schools (also known as St Michael’s Church Schools),
High Street, Broadway


Sources: The archive of Maurice C. Andrews and various school registers.