A school for Lymington from Anne St Barbe

Today's Museum and Art Gallery was once a school for Lymington's National School, opened in 1836...

st barbe classroom 600x400There were several private schools around Lymington by the end of the nineteenth century, with a small minority of less fortunate pupils whose fees were met by the Fulford and Anne Burrard charities.

In 1834, Mrs Anne St Barbe, a widow from the well established local business family, generously donated the sum of £220 to purchase a half acre site off New Lane on which to build a school for poor Lymington children. She also provided moeny for houses for the schoolmaster and mistress.

School children st barbe school LymingtonThe National School was opened on 11 January 1836, built to accommodate 160 boys taught by male teachers and 120 girls by spinsters. There were also pupil teachers apprenticed for five years.

Children had to pay just a penny a week, doubled to tuppence in 1879. 

Truancy was a problem in Victorian times, made worse by children having to walk long distances in foul weather. 

Extra classrooms were added in 1879 and an Infant School was built on the opposite side of School Lane in 1888. By 1909 both became a Church of England school.

Today, the National School is the St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery...

Images: St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery

Information: 'Then & Now, Lymington and Pennington', by Brian J Down. 

St Barbe School building Lymington