Woodhouse Eaves

St Paul's School

Brian Axon

This page is designed to show the photographs that were taken of the school, the teachers and the pupils over the years. These commenced about the early 1900's.

A more comprehensive history of the school also written by Brian Axon, can be found on the Woodhouse Eaves History page which can be accessed by clicking on the following link.

St. Paul's, the village school on Church Hill, Woodhouse Eaves, as it is in 2010, now private homes.
167 years ago, in 1843, it was very different, as the next picture shows.

By the 1800's the village of Woodhouse Eaves was expanding, and a decision was made to build a school on Church Hill. A plan was drawn up and building was commenced. By 1843 it looked like this.

Granite for the construction was taken from an old quarry next to the school, the area now known as 'The Stone Hole'.

Originally the Headmaster had lived on the school premises, but in 1860 a prestigious house was built opposite the school as the new residence for the Headmaster and his family. This still stands and is now a private house.

As time went on the school had to be enlarged by adding extensions to both ends.

Also, in 1863 a further building was constructed on Main Street to take all the infant pupils

The Earliest photo of a Headmaster is of Jesse Gibson, known locally as 'The Gaffer'. He took over from William Pettitt in 1896. His wife, Augusta also helped out at the school.

During 'The Great War' (1914/1918) Jesse volunteered as an officer. The photo shows him, resplendent in his uniform, together with his dog. His sword is still in the possession of his descendants.

Church Hill in the early 1900's was a lot quieter than today. safe enough for the children to play in the road outside the school. These photos are undated, but the second one shows a telegraph pole. Some residents of the village had a telephone.

The next photo shows the end of the school. (Compare this with the original 1843 school. The bell tower which was originally on the end of the building is now facing the road). The Stone Hole is on the right.
The small building in the centre behind the wall is the school toilets. Rather basic and in use until the school closed in 1970.

The earliest dated photograph of the pupils was taken in November 1901. The Headmaster, Jesse Gibson and his wife Augusta are on the right.
This was taken by the rocks alongside the Stone Hole, as were many other photos.

Believed to be a year or so earlier, the next photo shows Jess Gibson (centre) for the first time.
The second would be in the early 1900's, and appears to be the infants, with a teacher, outside the school.

The infants, taken outside the school in 1910. See if you can spot one of the children looking happy!

Two years later, in 1912, this group of infants still do not look very happy, then neither does the teacher! This was taken alongside the entrance porch of the infants school, which was retained when the school was converted into a private house.

Two formal photos taken in 1908 and 1910 with the Stone Hole as a background. Jesse Gibson, with a male member of staff. The two female teachers are Kate and Helen Stubbs.

Now look at the following postcard.
This is Church Farm in the late 1800's. The school and church can be seen in the background. The two young girls are Kate and Helen Stubbs, who later became teachers at the school, with their brother Lloyd. This area is now Rawlins Close.

The 1911 census has shown this to be wrong. Kate and Helen are listed as being aged 36 and 34. Also closer inspection shows that the church tower now has a clock, fitted in 1904. So the children cannot possibly be Kate and Helen. Do you know who they are?

The Great War had thankfully ended, and the next photo shows the children squeezed into the narrow space between the rear of the school, and the rock face. Taken sometime in the 1920's at last the children are now looking happy.

Jesse Gibson died on 7th. March 1919. There were other Headmasters after him, but the best known was Gwilym Morgan Hughes, who was appointed on 2nd. March 1942. Further photos are available, but not until the late 1940's.

Taken in 1949, this shows the children in the
'top class' at their artwork. This is the only
known photograph of the school interior.
If anyone has others we would be pleased
to know.

The following year, 1950, a formal photo was taken. Mr. Hughes, Headmaster is on the left, and Mrs. Turland, teacher is on the right. The names of pupils are listed, so perhaps you may recognise yourself. If so, why not send us your present photo and we may be able to add it to this page.

Above is a splendid view of the school in 1960, with the pupils gathered
on the footpath and the rocks behind. Are you possibly on this photo?
Mr. Hughes is there. Can you find him?

A coloured photograph of students with Mr Hughes the Head Master outside the original St Paul's School.

We have just received information about the names of many of the students in this photograph which we will be adding shortly.
Watch this space!

A further group photo taken in 1964, with Headmaster, Gwylim Hughes on the right. The names of the pupils are again listed. Are you one of them? Do let us know.

During 2010 we had two visitors.

One was Keith Draper, now living in Australia, who attended St. Paul's School, and had his photograph taken in 1953.

He is the one on the front left.

Are you one of the other children?

The second visitor was David Hughes,

the son of Gwylim Hughes the Headmaster.

He is on the right with Brian Axon and Elizabeth Kessling.


St. Paul's School closed in 1970 to be replaced by a new, modern school in Meadow Road, Woodhouse Eaves.

In 1974 the old school was converted into homes. One problem was the bell tower.

It was considered unsafe, and was dismantled, then re-erected at the front of the old headmaster's house on the opposite side of Church Hill

The infant school was also converted into a private house.

The aerial photograph show Church Hill and the 'old school' as they are today, with the rocks and the Stone Hole behind, and St. Paul's Church further up the hill. The headmaster's house is in the bottom right hand corner.

The final photograph shows a recent view of the old school now converted to private residences.