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History / West Wittering School

The history of this building from West Wittering is confusing.  It is thought to have been built in the eighteenth century as an open-ended cart shed & only later (possibly in the 1820s) to have been converted into a school. 

In his will of 1702 Oliver Whitby left an endowment to provide for ‘the teaching of six poor children of the parish of West Wittering … to read and to buy them necessary books’.  The trustees’ accounts record regular payments to school teachers between 1712 & 1851 but there is no reference to the charity either leasing or building a school house during this period.  In 1823 it was agreed that the trustees would increase the number of children receiving schooling either by establishing a school at Harting or West Wittering or by contributing towards the upkeep of an existing school. It is possible that the cart shed was adapted for use as a school at this point, although the trustees’ accounts do not record any building costs and in fact the amount the charity was spending on schooling did not increase. The only documentary reference to our building as a school house is the in the West Wittering tithe apportionment of 1848, which describes it as a ‘school building & stables’.  At this time it was owned and ‘occupied’ (i.e. used) by Richard Phillips, who also occupied (lived in) the house on the other side of the road.  This suggests that by this date the school building had gone out of use.  In 1849 the trustees of the Oliver Whitby charity built a new school house near the parish church which opened in 1851. 

The interior of West Wittering School is furnished with original artefacts.

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Workshops Featuring this Building

Victorian Rural Life School Role Play module Details
Victorian School Experience Day   Details

Teachers Resources

Education before 1870 Details
Education 1870 - 1902 Details