Burnley Grammar School


Burnley Grammar School

The town of Burnley is in Lancashire, England. Its name is thought to derive from Brun Lea (meadow by the Riven Brun). The earliest record of settlement is in 1122 when a charter to the church of Burnley was granted to the monks of Pontefract Abbey. The centre of the town was St Peter’s Church.

Burnley in the nineteenth century - map amalgam

Burnley in the nineteenth century


In 1550 Burnley’s population was 1,200. Following the orders of Edward VI, in 1552, the Chantries were dissolved, closing the Chantry School in Burnley. In 1559, certain leading men of the Parish of Burnley urged the endowment of a Free Grammar School, with gifts of land and rents. On the 1 February 1559, the Habergham deed was sealed, bringing Burnley Grammar School into existence. John Towneley erected the first buildings for the school. The Towneley family, along with the Haydock, Habergham, Woodruff and Whitacre’s, provided the first founders and governors of the school. The school has occupied various sites during its existence.

As the middle of the Nineteenth Century approached, the town’s business in textiles took off. Migrants from Scotland flooded down south to settle in places in and around the area; Skipton, Colne, Nelson and of course Burnley itself. The population of Burnley, until then was less than twenty thousand and the school was in its centre. In twenty years, the population doubled due to increased industry and the centre of town bustled with migrant working classes and their rowdy children. Evenings would be full of the trade of the streets – drunks and their women – hardly an appropriate setting for a school.

The buildings occupied by the old Grammar School at that time have fallen out of use but are still standing.

Unsurprisingly middle class parents began to send their children to out-of-town boarding schools. The fortunes of the Grammar School gradually waned. In 1871, in return for financial aid, the Governors allowed representatives from the Town Council and the School Board to have a say in its running. This resulted in new school buildings on Bank Parade, opened in 1874. By this time, Burnley’s population had topped forty thousand. An agreement was made to set up a girls department but no funding was forthcoming. Instead the School Board came up with the idea of a rival higher grade school and by the 1890’s was active in promoting it. The initiative would have led to the demise of the Grammar School and put the School Board in the position of playing Trojan Horse.

The end of Nineteenth Century saw Burnley Grammar School’s finances in worse shape than ever and the School House was in a poor condition. A number of reports, proposals and schemes were put forward at the time (see 1344/12, 16, 17, 18 below). The plan for a rival school was re-shaped into a ‘High School’; effectively a Grammar School for Girls. Burnley High School for Girls was opened under the management of the Higher Education Committee in September 1909, on the premises of the Technical Institute, Ormerod Road. It was used for the reception of girls from the Grammar School. A preliminary prospectus for this school has made it to the archives (1344/18). Ormerod Road was also near the centre of town.

Burnley - ordnance survey snip

Burnley – detail from old ordnance survey map

In 1959 the Burnley Grammar School moved to its final place at the former Ivy Bank House, between Burnley and Padiham. It was joined there in the early 1960’s by Burnley High School for Girls.

The relationship between the local education authority and the Grammar School was characterised by urge to over-manage (an endemic problem in authoritarian cultures). It was driven in part by ideology which, in later years, saw a deliberate policy of underfunding of the school. Anecdotal evidence suggest the School Board and its successor organisation, Burnley Education Committee, had a strained relationship with the Grammar School. This ended badly and the Grammar School was forced to close in 1981, along with Burnley High School for Girls.

Institutional bias against parents who want their kids to do well, continues unabated. It is rife in the UK and a symptom of social ossification. Here it is  couched in the language of class warfare:
http://www.burnleycitizen.co.uk/uk_national_news/10878414.Ofsted_chief_slams_grammar_schools/

Further Information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnley

Burnley Population in table form

1801

3,918

1811

5,405

1821

8,242

1831

10,026

1841

14,228

1851

20,828

1861

28,700

1871

40,858

1881

59,000

1891

87,000

1901

97,500

1911

107,000

Census figures of Burnley’s population references

http://www.burnleyexpress.net/news/nostalgia/roger-frost-the-days-when-burnley-was-just-a-village-1-3185992

http://www.visitoruk.com/Burnley/

http://www.genoot.com/eng/lan/b/burnley/mannex_1876.html

The archived material held in Lancashire Record Office includes a deed bundle that details land held by the former Burnley Grammar School, and other papers dealing variously with rents and land assignments to the foundation and maintenance of a Free Grammar School at Burnley or Colne. Also in this bundle is the Habergham deed, dated 1 February 1559 where a rent charge of 10/- is granted on land called ‘The Yng’ in Colne; a grant of land dated 4 February 1577 by Sir Robert Ingham, Clerk, Rector of Stockham Pelham in Hertfordshire; and an indenture appointing new trustees and assigning estates and property in 1860.

Deed

Year

Items

Contents

1344/1

1559/60

7

Estate Papers

1344/2

C 19th

1

Memoranda as to Leases

1344/3

C 20th

2

Suit of Ownership of the Schoolhouse

Richard Towneley v Governors, includes manuscript copies made on the 1670’s of original papers that detailed the deeds.

1344/4

1911/13

4

Board of Education Orders

Authority for the trustees of Burnley Grammar School to sell real estate, named in the order. (5 Jun 1913)

Order that the trustees, named, be admitted on Court rolls to copyhold hereditaments. (3 Jan 1911)

1344/5

1861

3

Plans

…of Burnley Grammar School lands, with details of the plots held by various trustees

1344/6

1883 – 1911

10

Accounts

Summary accounts for 1883-1906 and 1909-1911, including a memo on investments (1943), and various financial statements for memorial funds and scholarships (1913).

1344/7

1855-95

1

Cash Book

August 1855 to May 1895

1344/8

1897-1905

11

Income Tax Documents

Income tax assessments; exemption forms; charity (lands) claims; life insurance claims.

1344/9

1915

4

Duties on Land Values

Notification to the trustees of the school of duties on land values, including provisional valuations of property in Lee Street, Jackson Street, Butler Street, Hebrew Road, Barrett Street and Colne Road under the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910.

1344/10

1903

10

Scholarship Papers

Particulars of existing scholarships and their entry requirements; including suggestions for a new scheme of examination.

1344/11

1885 – 1935

10

Papers relating to particular scholarships

Extracts from wills, stock certificates, and deeds establishing the terms of trusts, orders and correspondence from the Charity Commission, for:
Edward Livesey Scholarship, William Brindley Thomas Scholarship; Canon Winfield Memorial Prize; William Milner Grant Scholarship; Folds Scholarship; Anne Brownhill Barnes Bequest; Doctor Anningson Science Prize Fund; Phillips Scholarship; Langfield Ward Scholarship.

1344/12

1898 – 1903

1

Building and Finance Committee Minute Book Dec 1898-May 1903

The Building and Finance Committee were appointed in December 1898. The Finance Committee became the General Purposes Committee in July 1902.

1344/13

1842 – 1872

1

Register of Pupils

Alphabetical index of pupils, including numbered entries for each pupil giving entrance details about their age, date they entered school, where they transferred from, and where they were removed to; name of the pupil’s parent or guardian, residence, religious affiliation, profession and occupation.

1344/14

1907/07

14

Memorandum to the Headmaster’s Clerk

Details of adverts for the school to be placed in the newspapers; includes advertisements for teachers and a memo on the nature and extent of clerical work.

1344/15

1872 – 1897

1

Governor’s Declarations Sep 1873 – Apr 1897

Declarations made on appointment to the position of Governor.

1344/16

1899 – 1911

12

Inspection reports

Reports of inspection by the Board of Education including comments by the Board of Governors, (1899-1905); Headmaster’s report to Governors, (1904); Town Clerk’s report on Endowments and Scholarships, (1910-1911); Report to the Registrar of the University of Manchester by Annie Adamson, M.A. (1904).

1344/17

1903 – 06

26

Education Schemes

Proposed Order and Scheme for Burnley Grammar School issued by the Board of Education. Schedules, correspondence and reports of meetings between the governors of the school and the Board of Education.

1344/18

1897 – 1910

12

Publications

Annual Reports, (1897-1904), includes Staff and Governors lists, prize, examination and scholarship pupils, form lists and appointments of ‘Old Boys’;

Prospectus for Burnley Grammar School, (c.1909);

Regulations for Secondary Schools, (1909);

Preliminary prospectus for the High School for Girls, (1909-1910);

Articles of Government for a Girls’ Secondary School.

1344/19

1834, 1950

2

Miscellaneous Items

Copy of letter from Mr Shaw to T Parker, on the appointment of a new trustee to the school, (1 May 1834).

1344/19/2

1869

1

Letter from Brinstead Grenside, Wakefield

Refers to an account against the school and suggests a plan is made of the property, (31 December 1869).

1344/19/3

1908/09

1

Statistics of Burnley Grammar School for 1908-1909.

1344/19/4

1903

1

Report on the contributions to the buildings and equipment of the school, made by the Corporation (1903)

1344/19/5

1950

1

Direction by the Minister of Education that Burnley Grammar School should be a “controlled school” (1950)

1344/19/6

?

1

List of names and addresses of governors

1344/19/7

?

1

Board of Education scheme for The Old School, Worsthorne-with-Hurstwood, Lancaster (1905).

Hurstwood and Worstthorne lie further in the Pennines, just to the west of Burnley,

1344/19/8

?

1

Lists of documents relating to the school.

Further reading: W Bennett, Burnley and the Grammar School in the Sixteenth Century (1930).

Web resources

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=055-ddx1344&cid=-1#-1

http://forebears.co.uk/england/lancashire/burnley


[edit 27/12/2015

View my book: Burnley.
Brun-large

 

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About Terence Park

Collections: vinyl records, comic books, paperbacks; I've plenty of them all. I also do spreadsheets.
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2 Responses to Burnley Grammar School

  1. Roger says:

    I’ve lived in Burnley for many years now and had no idea that building was the old grammar school. The things you learn eh!?

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