Sometime before the 4th of February 1852 a group of people met to finalise
the arrangements for Scosthrop School. These people were Isabella Preston
and Thomas Preston of Scosthrop and Rev. Stephen Bland, the Vicar of Kirkby
Malham Church. The Indenture was drawn up on the above date and finally
signed and sealed on April 26th 1852.
For £5 Isabella Preston would sell a piece of land on the north
west side of the road leading from Scosthrop to Malham to Thomas Preston
and Stephen Bland. This parcel of land was known as Primrose Croft and
measured about 213 yards. A school house was to be built and used for
the education and instruction in the English language and in writing and
arithmetic of children residing within the parish of Kirkby Malhamdale.
Thomas Preston and Stephen Bland would be Trustees at first but others
could be appointed when necessary. When the school house was built the
Trustees would meet to appoint a mistress/master of the school. This teacher
had to be a member of the Church of England, as had any future teacher,
and no other denomination would be allowed. The Trustees would have the
right to draw up regulations about the hours of attendance and employing
and dismissing staff particularly if there was any immoral or improper
So the new school opened and was known as
Scosthrop National School.
A copy of the Craven Herald
of 1867 mentions a concert held at the school 14 years earlier
(1854) which was well attended considering the short time the
school had been in existence. This was given by professional
singers from Settle and organised by Rev. W. Macksey the curate of Kirkby
in Malhamdale. But in 1867 Scosthrop National School presented another
concert mainly by amateurs and most of the young ladies had not
appeared in any such public manner before. This was a great
success and contained such musical gems as:- Hail, Smiling Morn; Mother
Would Comfort Me; The Vacant Chair and Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep.
Admission charges were 2s, ls, and 6d.
From 1871 to 1874 the mistress was Miss Shackleton whose salary rose from
£33.6s.5d to £35.15s.0d a year and the numbers of pupils varied
from 31 to 50.
In March 1875 a meeting of the ratepayers of Scosthrop, Airton, Otterburn
and Calton was called for the purpose of considering what should be done
to meet the requirements of the new Elementary Education Act. In May 1875
the Vicar in his report noted that Scosthrop National School had reached
a crisis in its history. The final notice from the Education Department
expired in July and the four townships at that end of the parish would
be called upon to elect a School Board. This did not mean a new building
but it would mean the support of the Elementary School by a compulsory
This school board was finally elected on October 30th 1875 with Rev. T
C Henley (Chairman), Mr W. Gomersall (Vice Chairman), Mr. JB Dewhurst,
Mr. R Brown, Mr. R Mount, Mr. CA Ricards and Mr. JE Taylor. Their first
act was to levy a twopenny school rate on the townships. The Vicar reported
in May 1876 that Scosthrop School is now Airton Board
School. From that date Scosthrop School Trust accounts show
that the school building was leased to Airton School Board and Scosthrop
National School ceased to exist.