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:MDV117330
Name:Former school at West Blackdown


'Furzeleigh' was built in 1890 as a purpose-built single-roomed school. It was a struggle to get it built and keep it going; it finally closed in 1918, with the remaining pupils going to Brentor School. It is now a private dwelling.


Grid Reference:SX 487 811
Map Sheet:SX48SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBrentor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMARY TAVY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SCHOOL (Constructed, XIX to World War I - 1890 AD to 1918 AD (Between))

Full description

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

'School' is depicted on the early 20th century historic map. Not shown on the late 19th century First Edition map.

Stanbrook, M., 1991, Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered, 34-7, photograph (Monograph). SDV359884.

The history of Blackdown School is involved and troubled. As the scattered cottages and farms of Blackdown were originally in the parish of Mary Tavy (despite being so close to Brentor), the children were unable to attend Brentor village school, although when in 1885 the Education Department decided a school must by provided, they did briefly attend Brentor, before all were expelled, due to plotting by the Brentor school secretary.
Eventually (after more pressure from the Education Department), a site for a school building was donated by John Francis Buller and plans drawn up and a builder engaged, although the loan incurred for the costs involved would take 35 years to repay (longer than the school eventually lasted). In 1890 there was more trouble when rising costs meant the construction costs increased, but the school was eventually finished and teacher appointed (school opened 3rd November 1890). The teacher appointed (Mrs Annie Gerry) left her post at Brentor School, which then was forced to close down with the pupils mostly relocated to Blackdown (only half a mile away).
The school struggled on but had problems with overcrowding, as well as the low ways of Mrs Gerry, who left in 1904. In 1903 the County Administration took over and things apparently improved after that. In December 1918, the school closed down. The parish boundaries had changed and the remaining children could legitimately attend Brentor School.
The building is thought to have been used briefly by the Salvation Army as a home for destitute children, then in 1920 it was sold. Now a private dwelling; the current owner has resolved to preserve the exterior as much as possible and it mostly retains its original appearance.

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

'Furzeleigh' 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).
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #76629 ]
SDV359884Monograph: Stanbrook, M.. 1991. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Paperback Volume. 34-7, photograph.

Associated Monuments

MDV120346Related to: 1-2 Moorside, Brentor (Building)
MDV80782Related to: Church Hall (former school), North Brentor (Building)
MDV120345Related to: Moorcroft Cottage, Brentor (Building)
MDV120344Related to: The Croft, Brentor (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 5 2017 3:16PM