|Trumpington Local History Group
Education and schools in
Trumpington, 17th-20th centuries
This brief introduction to education and schools in Trumpington from the
17th to 20th centuries is based on a presentation at the meeting of the
Group in April 2010.
See the introduction to education and schools for more information.
Before 1700 there was no education for the labouring classes of Trumpington.
In 1679 William Austin left money for four poor boys to be taught to read, "until they can read
a chapter from the Bible perfectly when they shall be given a Bible and other children shall be
taught". This took effect in 1708 when a school dame was appointed and 11 children were
selected. They were presumably taught in the Dame's own home.
In 1681 Thomas Allen left money for four boys to be helped to take up apprenticeships. The
plaques commemorating these bequests can be seen in Trumpington Parish Church.
Thanks to the Austin Charity, ever increasing numbers of children were taught to read, with
girls officially included from 1786. By 1833 the "charity children" were in full time education
alongside fee-paying scholars in James Cuming's Boarding School (Reminiscences of
Trumpington by Samuel Page Widnall).
There is evidence of a Grammar School run by the Vicar around 1790 and four Dame Schools
and a Girls' School in the 19th Century.
In 1842 land was purchased for a National School. Opening in 1843 and accommodating 100
pupils it was ever after known as The Church School and always had strong links to the Parish
Church. In 1857 the School House was built for the headmaster and in 1868 the school was
When the whole of Trumpington was swallowed up by Cambridge in 1934, children had to
transfer to senior school in Cambridge at the age of eleven. Every child was promised a bus
pass or a bicycle allowance.
Fawcett School opened in 1949 but some parents preferred their children to stay at the Church
School; it finally closed in 1950.
The excellent article by Margot Andrews paints a picture of a happy school with children
motivated to learn and reaching high standards.
|Percy Robinson and pupils from the Church School tending
their allotment. Photograph: Cambridgeshire Collection,
reproduced in Trumpington Past & Present, p. 45, and
Trumpington in Old Picture Postcards, 23.