Endowed like a Dame

Norton Endowed_000006

Image of the Dame School, Norton Canes, apparently from around 1956, although there’s some dispute about this. Image from the 1975 Norton Canes Historical Society Journal.

An interesting thing reaches me from top local historian Bill Mayo, via David Evans – a study of the long-gone Norton Canes Endowed, or Dame School, which was demolished in the early 1950s, but seems to have been one of the earliest local schools.

The article Bill shares is from the Norton Canes Historical Society Journal of 1975, and covers some great, otherwise lost history of education in the village. It’s well worth a read, either from the gallery below or the full, searchable PDF file by clicking here.

It’s worth pointing out that Paul Ford’s wonderful Wyrleyblog has also featured this subject, and a commenter there also pointed out an anomaly in the text; although the article suggests the school was demolished in 1952, the drawing is allegedly as it looked around 1956! I wonder if the 1952 is a typo for 1962?

David wrote:

Hi Bob

Over a cup of tea and chat with local historian Bill Mayo recently one of the topics that arose was school and the Old Schools.

Locally we have very little information… Sue Lote’s admirable research has shown that there was a ‘schoolhouse’ in Walsall Wood, where a Mr Smart was the schoolmaster.

Margaret Thompson’s superb photo of Brownhills High Street circa 1910 showed some school pupils looking at the camera.

But little else has come to light.. until Bill showed me this amazing 1975 Norton Canes Historical Society journal, which has a full article on a long lost school.

I am delighted to be able to offer this article to your readers, and hope that, in due course, we may learn more of other ‘Dame’ schools, and I thank Bill Mayo for his ongoing generosity

kind regards

Thanks to David and Bill for this – another great piece of the local history jigsaw. If anyone has anything to add – or even better, has a picture of the buildings in question – I’d love to see it. Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail do com. Cheers.

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3 Responses to Endowed like a Dame

  1. Mick Bullock says:

    It was definitely there after 1952, so were the cottages on the opposite side of the A5 on the corner of Butts Lane.

  2. Pedro says:

    Opening of the new National School at Norton near Cannock on Monday, September 28, 1863.

    In the Morning Divine Service will be held in the Church at eleven am (at which the Right Rev the Lordship of Lichfield will be present)…

    …A Luncheon will be provided in the schoolroom at one pm.

    Tickets 2s 6d each

    • Pedro says:

      Erected at a cost of 730 pounds, by Mr Highway, of Walsall, from designs prepared by Mr Robinson of Leamington. The buildings, which present a very handsome appearance, are of red brick, relieved by the introduction of blue bricks and stone, and compromise, in addition to a dwelling house for the master, a large schoolroom, and smaller one for infants, together with out-offices. A capacious playground adjoins.

      The need for the establishment of a National School in the village had been pressingly felt for some time…

      (Unfortunately the manufacturer of the bricks is not given)

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