History of Schooling for Tollerton children

Last updated on 8 March 2021

According to the ‘Nottinghamshire History’ website (www.nottshistory.org.uk) on 10th July 1613, in the time of James I, a licence “ad docendum puerelos abcedarios” was granted to Robert Storie, the parish clerk of Tollerton, to teach boys the ABC.  It is expected that this took place in the church.

Education in the 1700s in small rural communities would frequently have been provided by the parish clerk or another member of the Church. This education would have been fairly rudimentary and is likely to have taken place in the Church. There is no evidence of a school in Tollerton until sometime between 1833 and 1847 when a schoolroom was created at the North End Cottages at the northern end of Tollerton Lane by Pendock Barry Barry, son of Pendock Barry. It is said that Pendock Barry of Tollerton Hall had intended to build a school before his death in 1833 but spent all his money on the refurbishment of the Hall and never achieved this aim. Pendock Barry Barry made some provision for education when he built “town end cottages”, he added a room over the archway for the purpose of a school and set apart a cottage south of this archway for a teacher’s dwelling

Even in the early 1800s not all children would have been educated in the village. References in Sidney Potter’s book entitled ‘A History of Tollerton’ (1928) suggest that John Duke of Tollerton and his brother went to school in Plumtree. The School House is Plumtree was then located where the current school is now in Plumtree and was run by Mr Parr. John Duke recalled that Mr Parr was “a fairly good scholar and rather severe”  and that his father paid  a basic 1 shilling a week for the young Duke’s education plus extra fees for ‘copy’ books, quills and the fire in the  winter.

Other references in Potter’s book suggest that in the 1700s John Hooley was parish clerk and schoolmaster in Tollerton. John Hooley was born c1720 and his burial record from March 1777 lists him as ‘schoolmaster’.  Just how long John provided this teaching is unclear but he certainly lived in Tollerton for his entire life.

The school at the North End Cottages was in use until about 1900 when children were then sent to Plumtree or schools further afield until a two class Primary school was built at Tollerton in 1959 on the present site.

Further structural additions were made to Tollerton Primary School in 1961 – 2 class rooms, hall & kitchen and a further 2 classrooms in 1963.