Wakefield Family History Sharing

Educational Establishments

We know who our ancestors were by word of mouth and baptisms, marriages, burials and other records. We know where they lived because we have found them in the census from 1841 to 1901 and we may have found an address in a will or other document. But do we know what they were like when children ? What school did they attend ? Were they a 'goody goody' or a little on the naughty side ?

Have you ever thought of looking through School Records ?

Admission Books for Altofts have been transcribed and can be found on this site but have you ever thought of contacting your Local Archive Service and finding out what school records have managed to survive. In some areas a sample of records has been kept, possibly a 1 in 5 or if not so lucky a 1 in 10 year sample has been taken into the care of the archive service.

Some of these records may include, as before, admission books, punishment books, headmasters diaries ( you may find a name if they were very, very good or very very bad pupils! ), there may be a selection of photographs. You may possess a photograph of a grandparent, maybe an aunt or uncle, but what about a more distant relation, grandfathers brother or sister, perhaps - you may find a picture of them as a child or even as a teacher.

Prior to 1836 a list of free schools in Wakefield was compiled by John Firth, master of Sandal Endowed School from 1781 to 1836.

No. and Type of School Males Females
1 Free Grammar School 30  
1 National 210 130
1 Lancastrian 198 136
1 Greencoat 70 50
1 Infant 69 76
19 Other daily 426 202
8 Boarding 17 159
4 Sunday 466 420
He also commented that four were confined to the Established Church and 2 to the Dissenters. He also remarked that furteen had been established since 1818, the same year that a Government enquiry had been instituted into the education of the poor.


Left - Right : Cobblers Hall, Heath ; Old School, Heath ; Methodist School, Thornhill St, Wakefield

So it is worth looking to see what you can find !

School Year Opened / Founded Comments Year Closed
Grammer School 1591 Originally in Lady Bower, moved to Northgate in 1854  
Storie Petty School 1674 Founded by John Storie (see Greencoat School)  
Charity School pre 1703 In 1703 was made up of 22 of the poorest boys and 19 of the poorest girls in Wakefield. Taught by 7 teachers (see Greencoat School)  
Greencoat 1703 The Greencoat School was an amalgamation of two earlier foundations, the Storie Petty School and the Charity School. 1875
Woolley First 1720 1842 moved to present building. However, schools existed here before 1720 1993
Sandal Endowed Middle 1747    
Lancastrian School 1812   1901
West Riding Proprietary 1834   1854
Bell / National School 1813 Girls were at Almshouse Lane, while the boys were at Bell Street. 1869 moved to Zetland Street. All Saints School. 1895 Boys moved to Brook Street Cathedral School 1930's. The girls became the junior / jnfants. 1961 Boys to Thornes Road. 1963 became part of St John,s Belgravia Road
Silcoates School 1820 Silcoates Hall had been previously used as a proprietary school under the title of "The Yorkshire Pretestant Dissenters Grammar School". The school was burnt down in 1904 and being outside the Wakefield City boundary the City Fire Brigade were not allowed to attend. The Dewsbury Brigade arrived too late to be of any good.  
St John's First School 1861 1893 new school for girls and infants at Clarendon Street. 1930's the junior and infants transferred to East Moor. St John's Clarendon St became a senior school for girls 1968 girls transferred to Eastmoor
St Mary's First 1840's 1865 new school building 1974 moved to new buildings
Thornes Gaskell's 1840's   1970
St Andrews 1845   1952
Methodist First 1846 1974 moved to Field Lane. School is now an adult education centre  
Holy Trinity, George Street 1847   1954
Holy Trinity, Harrison Street 1850   1954
Newmillerdam 1850 Is now a private dwelling 1980
St James, Thornes 1850's 1861 new building. However, schools existed here before the 1850's 1960
St Michael's 1851 boys 1866 girls 1876 inf. In 1951 the boys and girls moved to Flanshaw. However, schools existed here before 1851 1969
St Austins 1858    
Crigglestone St James 1863   1975 moved to present site
St Catherines, Belle Vue 1870   1959
Westgate 1874   1939
Christ Church 1876   1964
Painthorpe (Crigglestone British Crigglestone Council) 1876   1984
Eastmoor First 1878    
Girl's High School 1878    
Sandal Magna First 1890    
Ings Road 1897 Closed due to clearences in Wakefield for Roads etc. However, the Boys and Girls entrance stones have been included in the road systems. 1971
Belle Vue Infants 1907   1956 opened as a Special School
Lawfield First and Middle 1912    
Thornes House 1921 In 1921 boys and girls were educated seperately, but in 1941 the school be came co-educational. In 1993 the school closed and the school buildings now forms part of Wakefield District College  
Manygates Middle 1928 1965 Manygates Infants closed. Is now an adult educational centre offering day and evening classes. 1993
Snapethorpe First and Middle 1931    
English Martyrs 1933    
Flanshaw First 1949    
Waterton First (Broadway Infants) 1951    
Heath View Middle 1952    
Kettlethorpe First 1954    
Crigglestone Middle 1956   1993
Kettlethorpe Middle 1957    
Mackie Hill First 1961    
St Thomas a Becket 1963    
Standbridge First 1964    
Castle Grove 1965    
Kettlethorpe High 1965    
Eastmoor High 1968    
The Mount First 1970    
Greenhill First 1982    
Dane Royd First 1984    

Two views of the Grammar School, Lady Bower. Now opposite the open market.

Schools where date of opening and closures are not known

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Wakefield Family History Sharing