Bury Primary School
Bury school was founded in 1844 by the local vicar, Richmond Powell, local landowners Charles Newland and Edward Ireland, another local vicar Rev. Imalley and the Duke of Norfolk. These men either gave both money and land to enable the creation of the school on its current site on Westburton Lane. They also asked other locals to contribute either a yearly subscription or one off payments. They worked out that the minimum they could pay a ‘mistress’ was £30 a year (this is about £3000 in today’s money- about 10% of what a teacher earns now!)
Initially the school was based in the school master’s house with a classroom being added soon after. The school had regular changes in leadership over the years with the average tenure of a head being about 6 years – not that dissimilar to nowadays!
Over time the school built on 2 new classrooms, a hall and 2 offices, but the footprint of the school is nearly unchanged since its inception (barring a small slice of land that was added to build ‘earth closets’ on in 1912).
School numbers have stayed fairly steady from 40-60 children for the last 175 years with increases during both wars when evacuees joined the school.
The position of the school in the South Downs has always been important, never more so than now, when as an Ambassador School for the South Downs National Park we spent a lot of time in the environment and the children learn about why this area is so important.