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A local history and genealogy site for Wimpole, a village and parish in South Cambridgeshire.
Curated by Steve Odell.

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Wimpole School Photographs 1900-1945
Wimpole's Church of England School as recorded here was completed in 1876.
The school closed suddenly in 1946 (the brick structure being declared "absolutely unsafe for the children")

(Page in development)
Click/tap small photographs for a larger image and pupil names if known.
Please contact the website if you have other school photographs of Wimpole School pupils,
can confirm exact year dates, or can provide/confirm any of the pupil names.
Photographs of pupil groups from Wimpole Park School (c1945-1955)
are shown on a separate page.

Wimpole School c1900 Boys Wimpole School c1900 Girls Wimpole School c1908
Wimpole School 1914 Juniors Wimpole School 1914 Seniors Wimpole School 1915
Wimpole School c1919 Wimpole School c1920 Wimpole School c1922
Wimpole School c1930 Wimpole School c1932
Wimpole School c1934 Wimpole School c1936 Wimpole School c1937
Wimpole School Pupils, October 1938 Wimpole School c1939

Wimpole Village School

A Brief History

Wimpole's first school "for poor children" opened in 1807, founded and supported by Elizabeth Yorke, Countess of Hardwicke. It was said to be "well managed and well attended". There was one schoolroom and a teacher's house.

A new school was built in 1853 at New Wimpole, again supported by the Yorke Family. It was a wooden building and was situated in what is now the back garden of No 30 Cambridge Road. It was described as 'Church of England' from 1871. After the new 'brick' school building was completed in 1876, the old 'Wooden School' was converted into one then two dwellings. It was listed as an Almshouse in 1933 and it was still standing in 1955 (and still called the 'Wooden School' by residents) although demolished soon after. The original building can be glimpsed in the background of the two 1900 photographs of pupils above.

Wimpole's new 'brick' Church of England School was situated at the (then) eastern end of Wimpole village, just inside and along the parish boundary with Orwell. The 'footprint' of the new school building is almost exactly that of the modern car park down the side of the current Wimpole Village Hall and the back windows of the school looked out across open fields. On the right hand side of the car park (looking from Cambridge Road) - about half way down and hidden beneath ivy and other growth - you can still find part of the school's back wall. It was taken down to chest-high in 1946 and left to mark the site boundary. Although hard to access now, the other side of this wall bears the decorative brickwork pattern seen in the images below.

The second image below (top-right) is the school building pictured around 1905. The image is also something of an an optical illusion. Compare the building size your brain (probably) thinks it is against the size of the building when scaled against people (top-left). That main door must be over 3 metres high.

The pupils' outdoor grassed playing area, known as 'The Chestnuts' (bottom left) because of the trees, extended from the school to beyond the modern driveway of School House (No 22 Cambridge Road), the then residence of the School Master. The iron fencing seen in the foreground remains largely intact even today, as does the iron 'School Gate' through which passed many generations of Wimpole school children. Most of the chestnut trees have also survived.

Pictured in winter, the fourth image (bottom-right) shows the relationship between School House on the left, the School building on the right, and the fenced-off outdoor playing area. The wooden gate leads to the 'Wooden School' residences. This amateur 'snapshot' c1925 was taken from Cambridge Road looking northwards.

After nearly 70 years, the school building was closed (as emergency action by the education authority) in the spring of 1946 when a surveyor's report declared the school building "absolutely unsafe for the children" (8 March) following damage to the foundations by tree roots. Classes continued in the Village Hall nearby for two years although some children were transferred to Arrington and Orwell schools (31 May 1946). From 1948 the remaining pupils attended Wimpole Park School. In 1962 all the remaining village schools were closed and pupils from the parishes of Arrington, Croydon, Orwell, Tadlow, Whaddon and Wimpole were sent to a new Church of England primary and junior school built in Orwell.

Wimpole School c1900 Wimpole School c1905
School House and Pupils c1900 School House and Wimpole School c1925

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