Our very own Author and Historian!
A few words from Brendan Hurley, Author of Broughton in Amounderness Church of England Primary School 1527-2007.
Broughton-in-Amounderness Church of England Primary School existed before Pizarro conquered the Incas; before Shakespeare was born or the Spanish Armada troubled England. Pupils were being taught there before the Taj Mahal was built, before Guy Fawkes hatched his plot, oxygen was discovered or the steam engine invented. It is older than the U.S.A. itself.
My exploration of the history of Broughton Primary School was inspired by the 1874 date plaque over the entrance to the old hall. Initially, I naively assumed this was the date on which the school opened. It only took a few minutes to discover that its origins lay much further back in the mists of time but two years of further research to explore and publish a fascinating history of this unique school.
The Beginnings of a Wonderful School
Broughton Primary School can trace its origins back to the reign of Henry VIII, when it was one of only 27 grammar schools founded in Lancashire and Cheshire before 1550. Its first endowment was established in 1527 and based on lands in Broughton, Goonsnargh and Haighton, given by Lawrence Stadaugh. The salary of the master was set at £13. 7s. 6d per annum and the school was initially housed in Church Cottages, part of which now form Church Cottage Museum and which in the first half of the C19th also housed the local inn.
Initially the master of what became known, after 1630, as the Free School at Broughton, was a curate. The first lay master was John Dancer who taught at Broughton from the 1640s until his death in 1673. From the beginning of the C18th an almost unbroken line of the masters, nominated by the trustees, can be traced through to the present day. One of these, James Tuson, who was master from 1807 to 1843, was also landlord of the adjacent Church House Inn, pictured above.
In 1784 we have the first evidence of a purpose built school house, probably a wooden structure, erected on what was then waste ground between the church and the cottages and which now forms part of the churchyard.
Ninety years later in 1874, a new school building, the present old hall, was erected when Richard Smith became the master at a salary of £120. As was common at the time, the single room, measuring 56 feet by 19 feet, housed all the 109 pupils. Pictured below left is Mr Yates in the original school room.
In 1881 an Infant Room was added at the rear of the building; in 1903 the main school room was extended and a year later electric lighting was installed. The photograph below right shows the school with its new extension making up the right hand third of the building.
The plan above showing the school in 1910, gives a fascinating insight into the layout of the school and its new extension.
Mr Yates and his class pictured in 1903 outside the school.
The current school building began life as a Special Subjects Centre built in 1913 to provide facilities for teaching Cookery, Laundry and Woodwork, not only for Broughton pupils but also for pupils from Woodplumpton and Barton: the red brick building still houses two of the infant classrooms.
New classrooms, next to the caretaker’s house (pictured in the centre of the photograph) were added in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
|In 1996 the International Learning Centre, opened by Prime Minister John Major, was built to house state-of-the-art ICT facilities, and a new hall/dining room was opened in 2007.
|Here we are at present day with super new facilities complmenting the diversity of buildings that, over time have evolved to become the Broughton in Amounderness Church of England Primary School. A school that so many generations over hundreds of years have come to know as a truly remarkable place.