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Stanford in the Vale
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An Outline History of Stanford in the Vale

Browse Chapters:
Domesday Stanford
Medieval Stanford
Reformation and Tudor Stanford
Civil War Stanford
Early Modern Stanford
19th Century Stanford
The First World War
The Inter-War Years
The Second World War
Post-War Stanford
Church and Chapel
Schools and Libraries
Civic Administration
Health and Social Services, and Young People
Village Halls
Fairs, Festivals and Fetes
Clubs and Societies
Acknowledgements & Further Reading
Additional articles:
BBC Domesday 1986
Church Green Fire 2005
Coat Of Arms
Virtual Tour 2003

Schools and Libraries

A school is known to have operated in the village since 1750, funded by a former vicar, Rev. John Hutton. A purpose-built school, the National School, was built in 1827-28, and following the Education Act of 1870, the present Stanford in the Vale Primary School building was opened in 1873, apparently having been built under the supervision of the local architect William Penstone to a design of the nationally recognized architect George Edmund Street (1824-81), who was also involved in repairs to the church. The school's links with the Church of England continue.

V. Howse in her 'Parish Record' mentions various schools in the village: those already mentioned, 5: 223-227; Nanny Grundy's dame's school on Church Green, about 1855 (2: 50); the British School, after 1864 (2: 40); Miss Collins' nursery school at Prior's Close, then at Rectory House (2: 44); Miss (probably Mrs. M) Newton's school at Frogmore Cottage, which the Vale of White Horse (VWH) Directory of 1878 terms a 'private school' and which Kelly's Directory of 1887 calls a 'day school' (2: 43); Miss Rosetta Goulding's Rectory School (boarding and day) for young ladies, operating certainly 1887-98, although the VWH Directory for 1878 notes her 'middle class school' (2: 52); and Miss Dorothy Pates' day school at 'Northway' on Chapel Road and then at the Mission Hall, about 1910 (2: 40,50).

The present day school playing field was acquired in 1960, and the school was extended in 1963. The Stanford School Association became active about 1980, raising funds for the School and staging various events for the children. The Friends of Stanford School was set up by the Governing Body of the school in June 1996 to offer financial support to the school at the time of severe budget constraints.

The old school building was put to new use as a library and reading room, later being used as a Plymouth Brethren meeting room, then as a small industrial unit manufacturing television aerials, then as a private dwelling, then as the village hall (1969-70 to 1983), and more recently again as a private dwelling.

A library and reading room was first established in the village in 1851 ; there was a library in Mrs. Miles shop on the comer of Church Green during the 1939-45 war; a library service existed in the village until 1976. A mobile library has served the village since 1977; the Oxfordshire County Council also operates libraries in Wantage and Faringdon.