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Satterthwaite Junior School, Cumbria
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member flipflopnick
N 54° 18.797 W 003° 01.058
30U E 498852 N 6018378
Quick Description: Satterthwaite Junior School closed in August 2006 after over a 150 years of serving the community. The site is Diocese owned who are redeveloping the site for housing.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/18/2010 4:10:40 AM
Waymark Code: WMAB7J
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:

This school was loved by the pupils, teachers and parents for its ethos. The way it cared for the pupils progress through life. When it closed there were 10 pupils who moved to nearby schools at Hawkshead and Backbarrow. A local artist notes the closing of the school and its connection to the Rusland Beech Trees. "2006 A very sad day the school I went to as a child - Satterthwaite and Rusland village school closes..."

In 2005 there were only 9 pupils. The Register of Admissions from 1880 to 1949 is available online through the parish council, who also reported on the change from school to local housing in their minutes. The Planning Board granted approval for 6 dwellings in May 2009 after the application was lodged in September 2007.

The first stone was laid by Mr Ainslie of Grizedale Hall on 19 April 1848, and extended over the years. Always using local building materials and techniques, faced slate for walls and slate on the roof. These old buildings are being retained and new ones built on the playground. Unfortunately they used the lowest quote, which led to further problems.

The school site is owned by local church of England diocese, who are developing it into local housing. Colton Parish Council in June 2008 minuted the start of construction work. "The Mitre Housing Association hopes to start work later this year on the construction of seven houses and flats on the site of the former Satterthwaite School. All the residences will be subject to local occupancy clauses which will extend to surrounding parishes.

In their Summer 2008 newsletter, affordable housing is mentioned.

Britschools have the closure date on School Information tab.


A Nostalgia article appeared in the local paper in 2014, heralding a book by article writer.
'Rise and fall of 'the best country school' (From The Westmorland Gazette)

July 2014 in Nostalgia
The Westmorland Gazette: Rise and fall of 'the best country school'

Dr Suzanne Tiplady delves into the history of her home parish of Satterthwaite 
and  recalls when its village school offered an education that was second to none

“THE Best Country School in the County.” That was how a government 
inspector described Satterthwaite and Rusland National School in 1855.

Other reports say that the pupils excelled in mathematics, especially the girls. 
The children, whose parents were semi-literate, were also reciting poetry
 and performing Shakespearean plays.

How was it that a small school in a remote valley was able to give its children
 a first rate education and win such accolades?

The story starts in 1848 when Satterthwaite was in the thick
 of the Industrial Revolution.

Three bobbin mills were built in the chapelry, drawing in young workers
 with large families, and swelling the population from under 200 to nearly 500 souls.

The chapel was enlarged, shops opened, and a public house was created. 
Those who could not be housed within Satterthwaite spilled over into the neighbouring
 chapelry of Rusland.

Although both Satterthwaite and Rusland had schools, they were only small 
(the one at Rusland was described as ‘a mere shed’), 
yet the area had about 220 school age children.

Plans were afoot to enlarge both schools when the Curate of Satterthwaite
 proposed a more daring course of action: a new joint school for the two chapelries 
with a fully trained teacher in charge. The residents’ reaction
 was one of horror.

Animosity between residents meant that parents from Rusland 
refused to let their children go to school in Satterthwaite 
and vice versa.

The impasse was finally broken by the offer of a building site equidistant
 from the two chapels, in an isolated spot just within the bounds of Satterthwaite.

Fundraising began in earnest and the great and good of the area contributed
 to the building fund, including the poet laureate, 
William Wordsworth Esq of Rydal, who contributed one shilling.

Satterthwaite and Rusland National School, which could accommodate 100 pupils,
 with a spacious nine-roomed house attached for the master, opened in October 1849. 
Because of its remote site, every child had a long (and usually very wet) walk to school.

Satterthwaite’s rapid expansion soon fizzled out and then reversed;
 the school roll never exceeded 80, and as pupil numbers fell, 
so did its reputation.

By the end of the 19th century poetry and Shakespearian plays
 were nothing but a distant memory, and Satterthwaite and Rusland National School 
won a different type of accolade – for the highest truancy rate in the county.

* This story, and much more, is contained in a new book 
The Parish of Satterthwaite, A Social History, by Suzanne Tiplady and Kevin Baverstock, 
available from July 14 2014. The A4 hardbook book is 592 pages
 with 450 illustrations. For more information e-mail info(-at-)

Despite Amazon saying Not Available, the book is available directly from authors. Amazon are able to list the book because it has an ISBN, but not sell it as their margin would render the book unaffordable. A second book about the parish will appear soon.

Satterthwaite and Rusland CofE School
Ulverston, Cumbria England
LA12 8LL

Web Site: [Web Link]

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