LEEK WOOTTON HISTORY GROUP
Researching and archiving the history of Leek Wootton & Guy's Cliffe Civil Parish
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Leek Wootton & Guy’s Cliffe History: The School
Records show that there was a school in Leek Wootton as far back as 1777. In that year Daniel Winter of Wootton Grange left the interest derived from £200 in his will to be paid yearly to support the school in the parish of Leek Wootton. This £200 was advanced on the credit of tolls arising from the turnpike road from Stonebridge to Kenilworth and the purpose of the bequest was for the augmentation of the salary of the schoolmaster.
The school is believed to have been in a building forming part of the old Vicarage and was pulled down in 1825 when Sir Henry Dryden rebuilt the Vicarage. In 1826 Lord Leigh lent to the parish a room with adjoining cottage for the school, and the cottage was the residence of the schoolmaster. It is believed that this was the property that later became known as the Reading Room.
In 1873 Henry Christopher Wise MP of Woodcote laid the foundation stone for a new school on the east side of the Kenilworth to Warwick road. The formal opening of the school was on 11th January 1875 when the Vicar, The Reverend Frederick Leigh Colvile, gave a tea. The school consisted of one large room with a smaller room off it, in the first week seventy pupils attended, and the first schoolmaster was Joshua Warner.
The school centenary was in January 1975 and all the staff and children dressed in period costume. Local press and television were present and the parents came in the afternoon. The children were dismissed by the Vicar and given an orange and a bun.
In 1993 the school was threatened with closure. The government of the day put pressure on local councils to reduce surplus places and the policy of Warwickshire County Council was to close several village schools in order to save money. In the view of many this policy was flawed, as the surplus places were in the urban schools and not in the popular village schools. The residents of the parish were outraged and a school action group was formed supported by both the church and the Parish Council.
The Coventry Diocesan Board of Education came to the rescue with a proposal to build a Church-
Extracted from ‘Leek Wootton and its Hamlets