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HER Number:MDV48198
Name:Buckfastleigh Primary School


The school was built in 1875 and is depicted on historic maps . A major rebuild took place in 1936-7 which required the children to take lessons elsewhere during the construction works. Accepted many evacuees during the Second World War and those affected by bombing in 1943. Accepted all ages of pupils from 1875 until 1958 when the education system changed. From then on, those pupils over the age of 11 attended schooling elsewhere.


Grid Reference:SX 737 660
Map Sheet:SX76NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBuckfastleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKFASTLEIGH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76NW/191

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PRIMARY SCHOOL (XIX to Mid 20th Century - 1875 AD to 1937 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Nothing is depicted on this plot on the 1840s Tithe Map but a pencilled annotation on the map states 'School built 1875'.

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

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

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

The early 20th century map shows the school has been extended slightly at the rear.

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

This version of the historic mapping shoes a large addition to the rear of the school, creating an almost square building, with two courtyards in the centre.

Coleman, S., 2003, The Book of Buckfastleigh. A Time for Remembering 1930-2002, 75-84 (Monograph). SDV357512.

This school was built in 1875, at a cost of £2,959, replacing the National Schoolroom in Chapel Street. In 1936 the school was completely rebuilt and during the building works the children were accommodated in a number of places: The National Schoolroom, the Town Hall, the Congregational Sunday School hall and the Wesleyan Sunday School were all used as temporary classrooms until May 1937 when the school reopened.
From 1939 the school accepted evacuees which in 1940 doubled the number of children at the school, causing some problems in terms of space and the numbers of teachers available. Rooms in the Town Hall were used frequently. At the beginning of 1943 the school acted as a rest centre for the 14 townsfolk from Church Cross whose cottages had been damaged in the only war time bombing to affect Buckfastleigh.
In 1958 the major changes in education making secondary education a priority meant that the school changed from being an all-ages school up to 15 (except for those who passed the 11-plus examination and moved to high school or grammar school) to become an infant and junior school. This meant those pupils over the age of eleven attended the secondary modern school in Ashburton and the number of pupils at Buckfastleigh reduced by more than 100 to 223.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

The modern map shows the current school is vastly larger than it's original form, with a large addition extending to the north-east.

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). [Mapped feature: #93124 ]
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV357512Monograph: Coleman, S.. 2003. The Book of Buckfastleigh. A Time for Remembering 1930-2002. The Book of Buckfastleigh. A Time for Remembering 1930-2002. Hardback Volume. 75-84.

Associated Monuments

MDV22907Related to: 26-29 Chapel Street, Buckfastleigh (Building)
MDV108570Related to: 3 Bossell Road, Buskfastleigh (Building)
MDV80098Related to: 32 Chapel Street, Buckfastleigh (Building)
MDV108576Related to: Bossell Terrace, Buckfastleigh (Building)
MDV48199Related to: Congregational Chapel on Chapel Street, Buckfastleigh (Building)
MDV108578Related to: Town Hall and Library, Buckfastleigh (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 11 2019 4:05PM