Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Chapel renovation stirs century-old school history

13:40 08 August 2012

St Anne

St Anne's Chapel

Archant

Drills in the pannier market and art in the High Street were part of school life.

THE restoration of St Anne’s Chapel has stirred fascinating details about education in Barnstaple at the turn of the twentieth century.

Sporting ‘drills’ in the pannier market and art lessons in the High Street were once a part of school life for youngsters attending the chapel, used as a grammar school from the early part of the 17th century.

The 700-year-old Grade I listed building, which reopens on Saturday following a 20-week restoration project, was finally replaced by a new grammar school in Newport in 1910.

Its refurbishment has already revealed a wealth of treasures beneath the floorboards including scraps of Latin homework, slate pencils and paper darts.

And after reading about the project in the Gazette, reader David Fennell, 83, of Sticklepath, got in touch to tell the story of his father Ernest’s time as a pupil at the school.

Ernest Fennell won one of only two three-year scholarships to St Anne’s Grammar School in 1901.

The 13-year-old, whose father worked as a train driver on the Lynton to Barnstaple line, studied a range of subjects including Shakespeare, arithmetic, grammar, algebra, shorthand, writing and dictation, French and geography.

Mr Fennel said he had some memories of things his father told him about St Anne’s, including the physical education of the day – sprints from one end of the pannier market to the other.

He said his father had told him they used sit on benches and worked at ‘forms’ and that they only moved up a form through results and not simply because of age.

“To us it all seemed very quaint,” he told the Gazette.

Mr Fennell passed on a lot of his father’s school certificates and prizes to the athenaeum in 2005 but has donated the last of his father’s artefacts – including a history textbook, hand written test paper – to exhibit at the chapel.

The chapel will begin a new chapter in its history at a special launch event taking place on Saturday.

The £230,000 renovation, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Devon County Council and Barnstaple Town Council, will open the building up to a number of new community uses.

Mayor of Barnstaple Lesley Brown, who will be officially reopening the chapel at 10.30am, said: “It has long been an ambition of Barnstaple Town Council to use the building for the benefit of all communities and the heritage committee has worked very hard to make this happen.

“The council is grateful both to Heritage Lottery Fund and to Cllr Brian Greenslade for obtaining funds from Devon County Council to enable this project to materialise.”

Saturday’s launch event is being billed as a ‘Historical Spectacular’ with historical characters; dart-making workshops; Victorian story telling; and performances by the Barnstaple Ladies Choir and Sorrelli Strings.

For more information visit www.barnstapletowncouncil.co.uk 01271 373311.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 16:40
Scenes from Braunton Village Fair 2016

Crowds made it a packed day out at Braunton Village Fair on Monday, with something for all ages to enjoy.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:13
The railings at Runnymede Gardens in Ilfracombe

Public outcry over ‘scaffold pole’ railings at picturesque seafront garden

Read more
Yesterday, 12:47

Police said traffic is moving slowly in the Bish Mill area and the A361 Link Road is partially blocked.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:34
The rescue at Screda Cove near Hartland on Saturday. Picture: Hartland Coastguard

Hartland Coastguard and the helicopter were called out to Screda Cove on Saturday as teenager ‘hung on by his fingernails’.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
Natasha Cook and son Mason are pictured with (back, from left) Aysha George, Pain and Gain owner Georgie Green and Annaka Llyod. Picture: Andy Keeble

Natasha and friends will be going through the pain barrier to help buy new gym equipment for Pathfiels School

Read more
Yesterday, 08:53
The children in Florida on their trip with the Children's Holiday Foundation.

A group of children from North Devon went on the trip of a lifetime to Floria with Childrens Holiday Foundation North Devon.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:30
Bideford Bike Show 2016. Pictures by Graham Hobbs

Bideford Quay glistened on Saturday as thousands of people flocked to the third Bideford Bike Show.

Read more
Mon, 19:38
Combe Martin's Hunting of the Earl of Rone 2016

Popular folk tradition comes to an end after a weekend of parades and revelry

Read more
Mon, 13:50
Nick Pedlar (centre) with the Holy Trinity Church choir. Picture: David Beagley.

Nick Pedlar steps down from his longstanding role with Holy Trinity Church

Read more
Mon, 11:12
Cats Protection volunteers with the new van. Picture: submitted

Generous supporters help fund new van for re-homing charity

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications