WONERSH
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HISTORY SOCIETY
LAWNSMEAD HALL Today, Lawnsmead Hall consists of the Main Hall and the Turner Room, both of which can be hired through Wonersh Church but it was built in 1890 to house Lawnsmead Infant School. One pupil was James Redman who was interviewed in 1978. His father worked at the tannery, his mother at one of the two laundries in the village and they lived first at No. 20 and then No. 13 Lawnsmead. Although the school catered for ages 5-8, he joined when he was four so his mother could go out to work. He remembers he found it difficult to concentrate in school because there were two classes in the same room, the seats running right down the middle. MORE MEMORIES George Brett (shoemaker) went to Lawnsmead Infant School and said that by about 1917 there were only ten or eleven children attending the school and there seemed to be very few young ones coming on, as many of the families had grown up and left the village; so the school was closed, and the remaining children transferred to the one at Shamley Green. At Lawnsmead, the headmistress had been paid, he believed, £350 a year; her assistant had been Miss Simmonds who, when George was interviewed, lived at Ferndale , next door to him. DAME SCHOOLS In the early 1800s there were small private schools providing education for working class children before they were old enough to work. These were often run by elderly women who for a fee of 3d a week taught the children to read, write and sew. Some of the women were little more than childminders who took as many children as they could cram into what was often their front room. Most of the time the children amused themselves and learned very little as the teachers themselves were sometimes illiterate. An 1838 study found that only half the pupils in Dame Schools were taught spelling and a negligible number maths and grammar. The Dame School in Wonersh was the ground floor of Little Stone Cottage and Stone Cottage opposite the Grantley Arms.
1898
1902
Class 3 date unknown
Little Stone Cottage & Stone Cottage