Malhamdale Local History Group    





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Scosthrop School in 2000, is now converted into a house.

Plan of the school when it was in use by Airton Board School.


"God prosper you all" Nineteenth century graffiti by G. Phillips scratched into one of the windows.

Newspaper article

Craven Herald article of 1867.

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The History of Education in Malhamdale

Scosthrop School (1852-1875)

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 conduct.

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 rate.

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.

Year Boys Girls Infants Total Teacher Salary
1871 22 26 0 48 Miss Shackleton £33 6s 5d
1872 18 21 0 39 Miss Shackleton £34 2s 0d
1873 27 23 0 50 Miss Shackleton £33 13s 8d
1874 27 14 0 31 Miss Shackleton £35 15s 0d
1875           £16 13s 3d (6 months)


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