School House/Cottage – Nantyderry

School House Nantyderry

School House in now a Grade II listed building.

I have a copy of a letter from L.S. Whitehead as Representative body of the Church in Wales, it is a reply to a letter dated 25th October 1932 from The Rev. HCP Belcher when he had made enquiries about the property.

The letter says the then Rector of Goytre, (the Rev. Thomas Evans) was given permission and there is an attested copy and draft conveyance under the schools act by Capel Hanbury Leigh dated 15th March 1852 and the Archdeacon of Monmouth, for a site of half an acre for the use of the Church day school.

Living at the Parochial School on the 1861 census is 31 year old married schoolmaster John Williams.

By 1871 my great, great, grandfather Jones Jones, the parish clerk and sexton, was occupying School Cottage, he was a 44 years old widow. He is a farm labourer, employed by the Rev. Thomas Evans. At School House is Thomas Bright the under schoolmaster.

On the 19th March 1877 schoolmistress Rachel Evans is called on behalf of a welsh speaking vicar for the parish. It is about this time that Nantyderry school ceased to be, most children in the parish were now attending British school in the village.

At the National School in 1881 is Richard Bowen, he is 29, a stone mason and came from Pontypool. Elizabeth his wife is 28, and was born in Mansel Lacy, Herefordshire, their children are 6 year old Elizabeth, Harriet 4, and one year old Frances, all born in Goytre. The schoolmistress, 33 year old Annie Powell is the sister-in-law of Richard Bowen, she is also in occupation of the property.

The census of 1891 says the School House in unoccupied but the census of 1901 gives 41 year old engine driver Thomas Evans along with his wife Elizabeth living at School Cottage.

Hutchinson family outside Nantyderry School House c1906.

This wonderful photograph taken outside the School house is from Luned James, it was taken in approximately 1906. The only persons noted are the two ladies on the left, one Aunty Bella, the other Aunt Lizzie (Elizabeth Evans.)

The rateable value in 1901 for the School House was £3 10s 2d.

The census of 1901 shows at No.1 are Thomas and Elizabeth Evans, and Elizabeth’s mother Hannah Jenkins. Elizabeth and Hannah are laundresses. This family continued to live here for many more years.

At No. 2 is Charles Rudge, a 28 year old railway goods guard, Elizabeth his wife is 32 from Hereford, their children are Amy 6, and Gwendoline 3, both born in Goytre.

Again on the 1911 census there are two families living here, one at the School House and School Cottage.

At the 3 roomed Cottage is 52 year old Thomas Evans a farm labourer, born in Goitre and his 56 year old wife Elizabeth, born in Llanover, they had been married 13 years but had no children.

At the 4 roomed house is George Jones a 50 year old mason’s labourer from Newport, his wife is Clara Ann, 33, they had been married for 6 years and had one son Percy aged 5 who was born in Goytre.

Elizabeth Evans died aged 72 at School Cottage in April 1926, she is buried at St Peter’s Church. Thomas outlived her by more than 20 years until January 1947, still living at the same home.


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