And The Surrounding District

The Poppies is the new name for The Old School House, which sits behind the School House. When the Old School House was too small, the new one was built nearer the road and the old building became a home for the Caretaker.

The free school was founded in 1703 as the Juice Charity School, having an income from endowment of £14 a year from the Will of Rev.Samuel Juice. It was established for the instruction of 8 male children of the poor, a few of whom were clothed by means of a separate fund.

It was further endowed with the interest from £300 bequeathed by Lady Judith Coote who had inherited estates in Birtsmorton and Berrow. She died unmarried and left these estates to her cousin Charles Coote, 1st Earl of Bellamont

In the 1837 Tithe, see map above, the School House was No, 98, two linked fields. It was owned and occupied by William Morris..

In the 1841 Census, it is School House occupied by William Morris (aged about 60), Schoolmaster, Ann Morris (aged about 35) and three schoolboys: Thomas, Luke and William Knight, aged 10, 8 and 5 respectively.

By 1842, the school was “much neglected both by parents, teacher and children”. Bentley’s Directory of Worcestershire 1840-42.

In 1848, 10 May, Worcestershire Chronicle: Pursuant to an order of the High Court of Chancery, made in the matter of Birtsmorton School, the representative or representatives the survivor of the Right Honorable Nanfan, Earl of Bellamont, Richard Nanfan,Esq., Thomas Browne, of Corse, the County of Gloucester, Gentleman Giles Nanfan, of the Berrow, Clerk Richard Paynton and Paul Thackwell, of the same place, Gentleman; and Thomas White, Birtsmorton, in the County of Worcester, Yeoman, respectively deceased, the Devisees in Trust named in the Will of Samuel Juice, formerly of Birtsmorton aforesaid, bearing date the second day of May, 1703, and who died many years ago, is or are within twenty-eight days appear before Richard Richards, Esquire, one of the Masters the said Court, his Chambers in Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane, London, and give notice of his or their title as such representative or representatives to the said Master, and are within thirty-one days after such appearance or notice prove his or their title as the personal representative or representatives such surviving Trustee, to the satisfaction of the said matter. Edward John Webb. Ledbury, 9th May, 1848.

In 1851, the Schoolmistress is Sarah C Barnes, aged 30, single, living in Birts Street with a Teacher – Ann N Jones aged 19.

In 1861, February, the School received a grant of £35 from the Worcester Diocesan Church Building Society and the Archdeaconal Board of Education.

In 1861, it is occupied by Maria Monk, Schoolmistress, aged 35, single.

In 1864, the field to the west of the School was sold by auction, pursuant to a decree of the High Court of Chancery, made in the case of Cops v. Henshaw.

In 1871, not found.

In 1881, the Schoolmistress is Jessie Stephens, aged 21, single, living with the Hewins family as a boarder, near to the school.

In 1885, the Ordnance Survey map shows the new school building alongside the old one. See below.

In 1891, not found.

In 1901, not found.

In 1903, the Clergyman at Birtsmorton wrote to the Chairman of Worcestershire education Committee expressing concern that the proposed new school at Hollybush would lead to the closure of Birtsmorton School.  

In 1911, it is occupied by Marian Francis Jackson, Schoolmistress, aged 28, single and her widowed mother Caroline Jackson (aged 57).  

In 1941, Empire Day was celebrated as usual with enthusiasm at Birtsmorton School, but the Squire (Mr. F. B. Bradley-Birt, who is temporarily residing in Cheltenham) was unable to attend. A letter was read from his in which he stated that he had succeeded getting Lady Margaret Sackville to take his place. The entertainment that followed, consisting of an Empire Play and recitations, reflected great credit on the children and on Miss Taverner, the Headmistress, who had arranged it. Lady Margaret Sackville delighted everyone with her talk and recitations from Kipling. (Cheltenham Chronicle 31 May 1941).

If you would like to add what you know about the history of the two buildings, I will add it to this. What you told me about the family ownership was very interesting.

There are some records in The Hive in Worcester that will add a bit more, and I will add information from these too and produce a more complete copy.

Thank you

David Smallwood


Gloucester Road


01684 833135   (please note the ‘b’ in the middle)

The Poppies