The school was first built in 1846, with money provided by Joseph Lucas and his brother Edward Munday Lucas. It was completed in 1847 and consisted of one room. On either side of the door there were arched windows overlooking the churchyard. There was an open fire, no electricity and outside (very primitive) toilets. These were earth closets and there are references in the log books of them either not having been cleaned out for months, or of them having been given "a good supply of lime".

There was growing competition between the Churches and the School Boards (elected by local ratepayers) as to who would supervise education. In each Parish the Church was only to be allowed to maintain education if they could provide enough schooling for the Parish's needs. The Vicar so desperate to keep control of education managed to raise enough money to build a further room in 1871. The money came from a number of sources including Rev Butt, Mr Lucas and the Rothchilds.

In 1877 when Hannah de Rothschilds Infant School opened it freed up the original room for the older students. Two more classrooms were then added and by 1895 the school was completed. The basic layout remained the same but there were however a number of radical improvements made over the years.

It wasn’t until the late 1950’s that the cloakrooms were brought up to standard, with the introduction of basins and hot water, but the toilets were still outside and the boys had to wait until 1963 for a roof over the urinals.

Click on plan for details

School life was very basic in the early days, wall blackboards weren’t used at the school until 1908 and the school didn’t even have a clock until 1922. The children generally got by, using daylight to do their studies; electric light wasn’t introduced until 1931 and even then it was a single bulb per room and rarely used.

Heating was generally ineffective and the school was often very cold, numerous reports detail the temperature as low as 28’F and there being no coal to heat the school adequately. One day in 1929 it was a bitterly cold 24’F and the log reads “physical exercises taken on the pond (sliding)”!!!

Not only was the heating inadequate, but on occasion it proved dangerous.

There was little in the way of sports equipment, the log has references every couple of years to receiving basic things from the Education Committee, for example, a single football, balls and ropes, or a cricket bat and two balls. The playgrounds were made of compacted earth until 1933 when drains were put in and they were asphalted. It is interesting to see that the boys and girls were separated at playtimes, having two playgrounds even as late as 1947.

The school continued to evolve and in 1947 preparations were made for a canteen, trees were knocked down and holes made in the walls for a door and serving hatch. On the 10th May 1948 school dinner was served for the first time. Prior to this the only refreshment served had been Horlicks Malted Milk, which was first served on the 5th October 1932, when 66 children took the opportunity of having a cup of malted milk each day, for the cost of 3d per week.

Later, in 1946 free milk was introduced for all children, but this was not without some problems. The supplier was Mr R W Honour of Bierton, who brought 37 bottles to the school. However, it sometimes arrived after the children had gone home. In the winter it would be frozen and had to be thawed in pans,

There were other mini-milestones in the schools history. In 1937 the official school colours were blue and white. The school bell was removed in 1963 and given to the Vicar for Church use, it had originally been on top of the roof at the North end of the main room.

In 1972 work began on a purpose built school on the present site, by this time there were 5 classes. The school was becoming so crowded that one class was moved to the Church room (originally Hannah de Rothschild’s Infant School) and one was in a temporary classroom.

The school adopted its current name of Wingrave Church of England Combined School in 1973. By July 1974 the new school was ready and the older children carried their books from the old to the new school and were shown around their new home.