We have records of lots of schools from the late 18th Century to the early 20th Century although we don’t know how many were operating at any one time.  Many of these were short-lived, many were run by and for ladies and most of them we know very little about except for a brief mention in the newspaper or trade directory.

Most of the schools were run in the teacher’s own house.  We know of a few exceptions which were run in buildings behind the main property:

26 High Street – we know from an abstract of title that part of this building was used as a school from the 1790s to about 1850.  It is thought that the school occupied the Long Room, a large building behind the shop accessed down a little alleyway.  The following teachers appear to have run schools in this building.

  • Mrs Underwood – mentioned in the abstract of title for the property as being a governess of a boarding school and listed as running a boarding school there in 1791 directory.  We don’t know any more about her.
  • James Moxham – mentioned in 1840 Tithe Survey as occupying 26 High Street (then described as being a’playground etc’) and listed in an 1830 trade directory as running a Gents Boarding School.  We know that James moved to Thornbury by 1818 when he married Jane Wansborough.  The Quaker birth records for his two sons in 1821 and 1824 describe James as a schoolmaster.  He had moved to Wales by 1841.  Click here to read more
  • John Frank – mentioned in the abstract of title and listed as running a Boarding School for Gentlemen in 1839 and 1842 directories.  John was a Quaker and it is thought that the school provided education for children of Quaker families.  At the time of the 1841 census there were 17 scholars boarding at the school.  Click here to read more about John
  • Mrs Leaker – Mary Ann Leaker ran  a school at Morton with her husband, George Leaker.  In 1834 he took several pupils to bathe in Severn and he tragically drowned.  Mary Ann carried on with the school until she was declared bankrupt in 1843.  Adverts of her school indicate she resumed business a few months later and it is possible this school was located at 26 High Street as she was mentioned as being there in the abstract of title.  Click here to read more

 Mr Champion’s school – John Champion ran a private school in a small building at the rear of his home which later became known as 5 Pullins Green.  It was operating there in 1840 and continued until the mid 1870’s.  On a separate page we have written more about the school and included a possible photograph.  We have also included some reminiscences of Edmund Cullimore of his time at the school.  Click here to read more

William Jarman Cross’s school – there was another school building mentioned in the 1840 Tithe Survey (Plot 254 a yard adjoining with schoolroom occupied by Abraham Cole and William Cross).  We believe that Abraham Cole was occupying the Royal George building and William Cross was using the school room.  William was a baptist minister from 1832 to 1844 and may have run a school here.

The following schools appear to have been run in the house where the master or mistress lived and this has helped us identify where the school was located: 

Miss Trayhurn’s school – Miss Mabel Ellen Trayhurn ran a preparatory school in the property known as 49 High Street.  We think the school ran from about 1927 to the mid 1950’s.  We have one photo of the school showing about 35 children dressed in costumes in the back garden.  Click here to read more<