Schooldays and Childhood in the Wychwoods: A Review

Part of our latest Wychwoods Library Display

Here is an article by Carol Anderson written to accompany an exhibition of photographs currently on show in the Wychwoods Library in Milton

Our library exhibition has an interesting set of photos of Wychwoods children at school in the mid 20th century.

We invite you to recognise some of the individuals in these pictures!

Perhaps you might even be one of them?

Education in the Wychwoods

In the Wychwoods, private education sporadically existed from at least the 18th century. Anglican and Nonconformist churches ran Sunday Schools, teaching reading but not writing. Gradually, industrialists championed mass education as crucial for maintaining the nation’s manufacturing edge.

Yet, not everyone agreed. Some feared that widespread education would discourage people from performing essential agricultural work, leaving others hungry. Fortunately, this fear did not prevail. For over 120 years, each of the three Wychwood villages—Ascott, Milton, and Shipton—had its own school.

These schools received support from local benefactors. Board schools, established by the 1870 Education Act, offered non-denominational education, while National schools adhered to Church of England teachings.

Read the full story in Carol’s review, either online here by downloading the article to read later.