Reverend William Martin, M.A. became Vicar of Steeple Morden in 1865 and appears to have been a campaigner. One of his first causes was championing the establishment of a village school. He sought help from the Earl of Hardwicke, who sold two roods (half an acre) of land for £20, in the centre of the village, close to the Church. He also donated financially and New College, Oxford, Patrons of the Living, did likewise and Martin topped it all off with a grant from the Government. A parish committee of subscribers, including several of the leading farmers ensured further financial support. The original site was acquired by by the Vicar and Churchwardens of Steeple Morden as Trustees and extracts from the Conveyance and Trust Deed dated 7 August 1866 are below.
The school was opened in 1867, on the ideal site for a Church school. Initially, there was a house for the master or mistress and one classroom. A further classroom was added in 1872. The site offered a generous garden on the south for the Master or Mistress, residing at the School House, however, there was relatively little space on the north side to expand the School itself and any expansion would be at the expense of the school yard; one doubts it was called a playground in those days?
Nearly 100 years later, there was acute need for more land to facilitate expansion of the school buildings and to extend, what was now called the playground. So on 21 September 1960, as the Local Education Authority, the Cambridgeshire County Council acquired an area of land (blue on plan below) directly behind the School from Victor William Duke South and subsequently a further plot of land beyond that (pink on plan below) from E W Pepper Ltd on 24 November 2009.
Today the Ely Diocesan Board of Finance, a company Registration Number 00142183 of Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely CB7 4DX are the legal owners of the School and land.
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Photographs, Deeds & Plans
Last Updated on April 17, 2023