HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV117319
Name:The Old School House, Hillbridge


Small remote moorland school set up in 1872 in the chapel of ease, which was built in 1856. Poor conditions and attendance plagued the school which closed in 1924 but reopened in 1941 because of an influx of refugees. Finally closed for good in 1946 and was renovated in the later 20th century as a private dwelling.


Grid Reference:SX 530 804
Map Sheet:SX58SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishPeter Tavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPETER TAVY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL OF EASE (XIX - 1856 AD to 1872 AD (Between))
  • SCHOOL (Constructed, XIX to XX - 1872 AD to 1946 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'School' is depicted on the late 19th century historic map.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Unchanged from the late 19th century historic map.

Stanbrook, M., 1991, Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered, 8-13 (Monograph). SDV359884.

This building was constructed in 1856 as a chapel of ease. Up until 1872 the only schools in the area were at Peter Tavy and Mary Tavy, which were hard to reach for the children living at isolated farms in the area so The Managers' Committee of Peter Tavy School raised subscriptions to support a school to be held at Hillbridge Chapel. Early records of teachers included as well as the money problems the school had. Hillbridge struggled to get supplies and conditions were harsh. There was only a single room to accommodate 30-40 children, some as young as 3 years old. Attendance could be poor and this affected the mistresses (already low) wages. Mrs Elizabeth Ladd was school mistress from 1906 until the school closed in 1924 and she lodged at Wapsworthy with her three children. There was no electricity and the room was damp and dirty. Sometimes there was no coal fire at all and the children had to be released early as they couldn't stand the cold any longer. Generally the children were reported to be lamentably ignorant. Mrs Ladd was said to be a very good teacher however, despite struggling with tough conditions at the school there was a happy atmosphere.
In 1910 there were 62 children on the register, although this number was not reached in actual attendance, but by 1923 the number of pupils had fallen to 7 or 8 and in 1924 the Devon Education Committee decided the school was no longer needed and the remaining students were transported to Peter Tavy School.
In 1941 Hillbridge had an unexpected new lease of life due to an influx of evacuees which resulted in overcrowding at Peter Tavy and Hillbridge was reopened. Initially there were 14 pupils, rising to 45 over the following 5 years. The conditions were not much improved (still no water or electricity) but Miss Kathleen Taylor managed the children single-handedly over the next five years.
In 1946, with the evacuees gone, the school was finally closed for good, with the remaining pupils transported to Peter Tavy (or Tavistock for the older students).
The small, single-story granite building, still it by oil lamps, was rented out and in 1974 it was eventually sold and transformed into a two storey dwelling and a small plaque over the entrance is a reminder of its previous use.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

The Old School House is depicted on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #76618 ]
SDV359884Monograph: Stanbrook, M.. 1991. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Paperback Volume. 8-13.

Associated Monuments

MDV117322Related to: Former School, Peter Tavy (Building)
MDV26314Related to: Hill Bridge Leat, Mary Tavy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 11 2016 2:36PM