Taken from 'A Brief History of Oxenhope' published in 1996 by David Samuels with many local contributors. Proceeds from the sale of the book are to support the Multiple Sclerosis action groups.
Snippets from Past Oxenhope (David Samuels)
The History of Oxenhope (Mr R Hindley)
Daily Life (Mrs Freda Feather)
Life on a hill farm (Mr Joe 'Bodkin' Feather)
Mill Life (Mrs Lucy Shackleton)
Village Life (Mrs Winnie Cowgill)
Education (Mrs Pauline Sheffield)
The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin (Mrs Margaret Hindley)
Religious Life in Oxenhope (Mrs Norma Mackrell)
There were at least four schools in Oxenhope at one time. Until 1840 education was entirely voluntary. Children were expected to help at home and on the farm, or wherever they were needed. In 1870 education became compulsory from the age of five.
The first school in Oxenhope was the Free school, free, that is, to the children of tradespeople, or children who had passed a scholarship which entitled them to free education. This was the Haworth Exhibition Endowment Scholarship. The school was situated on Marsh Lane in what is now the garage of 'Marshlands'. Pupils were taught Latin, Greek and the classics. It closed in 1930 because of the poor salary paid to its one and only teacher!
Opposite Hawksbridge Chapel was an Infant's School which held up to forty children. It started on 3 October 1881 and closed in 1916 because, with twenty two children attending in the last week, numbers were insufficient to keep it open.
Horkingstone School was at Leeming and closed in 1956.
The Church School was built at Uppertown, taking children between the ages of 5-12. It burnt down and was rebuilt in 1914.
The Council School was built at the bottom of Leeming where the Methodists sent their children. The nasty smell from the nearby fat refinery was blamed for the children's ill health, so a new school was built in 1895, (which is still in use) with the infant's department where the lower shed is now. This school also took children from the age of 5 -12.
Education was until 13 years of age in the village, unless pupils were bright enough to go to grammar school, when they would transfer at 10 years of age after passing their 'Scholarship'.
In 1963, the Church School became an infant's school for 5 - 7 year olds only, and the Council School became a junior school for 8 -11 year olds.
After educational reshuffling, the infant's school closed at the end of the summer term 1983, and the building sold. The Council School became a state-aided Church Primary School with children from 5-9 years of age.