Soudley School (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 15:35 (604 days ago) @ RogerrGriffiths

Hi Annie,

Ref the aforementioned maps, here are links to the OS maps, all of them can be zoomed-into using your mouse pointer. The links are best opened in a new tab or window.

First is the six inch map of 1878, which shows a small building marked "school" next to the railway line. Judging from the comments above I think is the original "iron" school.

Here is the even larger scale 25 inch map also from 1878, unfortunately for us on this series of maps the schoolbuilding(s) are on the very right-hand edge, but studying the adjoining page shows no sign of any other "school" buildings in 1878.
(adjoining map here )

It appears the nearby building marked Beechwood Lodge on these maps will later become the "school house" - which I guess is the house the master lived-in, and not necessarily a school-room as well ?


On the next edition of maps from 1901, on the six inch map the old ("iron"?) school is now named "mission room", and there is a new "school" building a little to the north, near to what is now called "school house".

Here is the even larger scale 25" map also from 1901, unfortunately for us on this series of maps the schoolbuilding(s) are on the very right-hand edge, but studying the adjoining page shows no sign of any other "school" buildings in 1878.
(adjoining map here )


By the 1924 series of maps, the old "mission room" is now marked as "church" and "St Michael and All Angels Church", in terms of general floorplan the school and school house buildings appear unchanged from before.
Six inch
25 inch


By the 1940s it appears the Church now has it's own Church Hall next to it, and the schoolhouse and school itself appear unchanged from before wrt their same general floorplan.


The excellent British History website has these mentions of Soudley's School and Church.

"A church school for Soudley was opened in 1875 by G. A. Allan, vicar of St. John's, Cinderford. It was a single mixed department in an iron room at Upper Soudley provided by Henry Crawshay and used also for Anglican worship. The school soon closed for lack of pupils, many children continuing to attend a school outside Soudley, but in 1880 it was successfully revived as a board school. In 1885 a brick building was erected north of the iron room and in 1889 the school included an infants' department and had an average attendance of 136. It was enlarged in 1893 and the average attendance was 167 in 1910, falling to 87 in 1938. As Soudley County Primary school it taught 54 children in 1992. The iron schoolroom, which the school board vacated in 1886, was removed before 1920."

"On the east side of the Forest a mission to Soudley was begun from St. John's church, Cinderford, in 1869. The mission, which conducted services in an iron schoolroom in Upper Soudley from 1875, was abandoned temporarily in 1905. In 1909 and 1910 a stone church was built west of the room. Dedicated to St. Michael, it was designed by W. Whitehouse of Cinderford in an early 13th-century style and has a sanctuary, a nave, and a west porch."

I hope this helps clarify things Annie, if only a little.
As you can see, unfortunately the OS maps were not revised between the time the new school was built and it's extension just 8 years later. I suspect the local newspapers would have reported upon these events, I wonder if they might give some clues as to which part is the extension ?. Again a visit to Cinderford library may help, they have the old D. F. Mercury newspapers on microfiche, the BNA site which Mike Pinchin accessed "only" has the Gloucester Citizens.

As well as Cinderford library, I recommend contacting the Heritage Centre, who I'm sure will have more information and maybe even photos.


Gloucester Archives are probably worth a visit. They hold various items relating to Soudley school including Deeds from 1905, and records & class photos of the Wood family who taught there in the 1890s. Enter "Soudley School" in this search page for results.


I've tried the usual websites for photos, but no luck. By my reckoning when comparing to the old maps, the school and church buildings are just clipped out of this view, they are just above the houses on the near right-hand end, on the other side of the railway line.

Good luck !

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