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Ashton Gifford School

Wadham Locke, owner of Ashton Gifford House, built Ashton Gifford school at his own expense in 1844.

It was known as Ashton Gifford school, and for many years it was owned and managed by members of the Ravenhill family. They were Locke’s successors at Ashton Gifford House, and they helped out by teaching singing, scripture and reading. Funding was by government grant, voluntary contributions and ‘school pence’ paid by parents. Any shortfall was made up by the Ravenhills. Only in 1891 was the school brought into the state education system, and in 1900 the managers purchased the building from the former owner’s executor.

The schoolroom, 49 by 16 ft, could accommodate 70 children, and there was a separate room for infants as young as three years old.  Fluctuations in pupil numbers were largely the result of changes at other schools. By the late 1860s numbers peaked at 105, but soon fell to an average of 51 when schools opened in Codford St Mary. 

In 1934 it became an infants’ school only, taking children from Boyton and Corton as well as from Codford, and its accommodation was reorganised.  Although it could accommodate 70 it had fewer than 50 pupils in 1940. Numbers were swollen by evacuees to a total of 76 in 1942, and one class was transferred to Codford St Mary’s school. After the war numbers settled to between 33 and 54, and the school closed in 1966, its remaining pupils transferring to Codford St Mary’s.

It was converted to a private house, ‘Moonrakers’, after it closure in 1966. It was sometimes referred to as Codford St Peter’s school. Traces of a porch facing the street can be seen as well as alterations at the east end.

View photographs and documents associated with Ashton Gifford School from the selection on the right.

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Codford: Wool and War in Wiltshire' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-441-6 ) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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21st Century (2000- )