Victorian Tour

School house

The schoolhouse was built in 1847 by the Busby Trust. A single schoolmistress was employed to educate up to 24 of the village children. Attendance was not compulsory, but most of the farm workers' children did attend until they were about 11 years old. Children from the more affluent families, like the Whitings, tended to be educated privately, either by a governess at home, or by a local preparatory school until they were old enough to go to a boarding school such as Westminster School in London.
This picture was painted around 1861. Some villagers can be seen resting in the shade of some large elm trees on the green. These trees eventually died in the Dutch elm disease outbreak of the 1970s. Another lady can be seen approaching the gate to the churchyard, maybe she is going to lay flowers on a family grave or is going to the vicarage to see the vicar, the Reverend John Benthall, about some matter. By 1881, John Benthall was still the vicar but the school had a new wing added to the right hand side of the building as shown.
Painting of schoolhouse from Willen Parish File, CRO Aylesbury