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Chrishall School 1890

by | Jul 24, 2015 | Chrishall School 1862 to 1973 | 2 comments


Most of their names are now long forgotten. The school house was vacant at the time of the 1891 census but in 1901 49 year old James French was the schoolmaster and his 49 year old wife Ellen was the schoolmistress. Their daughter Lilian was aged 22 in 1901 and listed as ‘schoolmaster’s daughter’ – and is possibly the young woman standing behind her mother. Behind her is an even younger girl but someone who appears older than most of the children. In 1901 Jessie Rogers was aged 15 and was listed as a day school teacher.

The date on the board is hidden by the boy’s head in front but it begins 18__ .

The lad holding it looks like a Pitches – see separate photo of Frank Pitches holding a cricket bat. Frank was born c 1883 but had three younger brothers: George, Charles and Lewis. Lewis was born c 1890.

Most of the children have buttonholes – oakleaves for Trafalgar Day? They also have plenty of hobnails in their boots!

R. Walden


In 1894 the Essex Newsman [1. Essex Newsman newspaper 6 January 1894] reports that a new classroom, cloakroom and entrance were completed at the school.  The money needed to fund this was raised by a voluntary rate of 1s 2d in the pound paid by owners of land in the parish.  The total amount raised was £120. 11s.

Robert comments above that the children in the photograph were wearing oak leaves.  I wonder if this was for Trafalgar Day or “Oak Apple Day” which was celebrated on 29th May each year and was a public holiday until it was abolished in 1859.

R. Gant.

D: 1890
C: 19th Century
1890, 1894, 1901


  1. Ellie Lieberman

    I have always loved this website but this picture will forever be my favourite. My dad has lived in The Old School House for the past 25 years and today is one of our last days here. I have always loved looking at this picture because it always felt nice to see a picture of someone who was living in my house over 100 year ago. This house has always provided me with an interesting story when telling people where I live as it’s such an old house (despite having been changed a great deal). I shall miss this house very much but I will always look back at this picture and imagine how it must’ve been to live in it when James and Ellen did. Thank you for providing such a wonderful website 🙂

    • Rosemarie Gant

      That’s lovely Ellie – thank you so much for letting us know. I hope you will continue to keep an eye on us, wherever you are, and see how your old house is doing!


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