Shipston on Stour
These days The Old School in the south Warwickshire village of Tredington is a lovingly restored and extremely attractive family home in the heart of this beautiful village overlooking the village green and the ancient church of St. Gregory’s. The old mills, barns, farmsteads and farm workers cottages which made Tredington one of the busiest of the many working villages in this area of Warwickshire, have been mostly preserved and converted into wonderful character homes. All are peacefully set amidst well-manicured village greens in the old part of the village which has now been designated a conservation area.
The school was built in the early part of the nineteenth century to provide education for the children of Tredington and surrounding villages with space for around eighty children; the older ones in its single large schoolroom, open to the roof, and the infants in a separate room at the rear. It was built by the Church on the site of a former public house, the “Bear and Bacchus”, at the rear of the beautiful old rectory.
School life in the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries was much more austere than today. The large room had one central oil lamp to light the children’s work, supplemented by a few extra candles in winter. Large open fires protected by fireguards provided the heating. Two older boys were designated each day to collect water from the well in the schoolyard and three buckets of water had to serve all the children’s purposes for the whole day.
May Day in Tredington
May Day was a special event every year with one of the older girls being chosen as May Queen with a usually very reluctant boy as her escort and May King. The Maypole was kept all year long in the big room and children had to practise the very complicated dance routines for weeks ahead of the big day. A local farmer transported the pole, together with the children, to many of the nearby villages where they performed for the locals - who often gave the dancers special treats as a reward.
Christmas Past in Tredington
The children also looked forward to Christmas when villagers organised a series of events to provide the funds to give every child a Christmas present. All the boys and girls wore their best bibs and tuckers and had a marvellous party complete with a slap-up celebration tea.
The Last Schooling at The Old School
By the early 1960s it became obvious that the existing school could no longer cope with the number of children, especially as the village itself was due to double in size courtesy of major new housing developments being planned for the other side of the main road. And so a new school was built to accommodate them all and the charming old school building,which held so many fond memories for so much of the local population, was converted into a splendid new home, regularly modernised over the following decades to keep pace with the rapidly changing demands of modern living.
Click for a Virtual Village Tour of TREDINGTON then click on "more" on the left hand side, then on "street view". The virtual tour begins by looking down the village street towards The Old School. Just follow the arrows to explore the village. You may wish to click on the full screen button in the top right hand corner the photograph.
THE OLD SCHOOL TREDINGTON
Shipston on Stour
Warwickshire, CV36 4NG