Explore the fascinating world of the Victorian judges at this award-winning historic house.

School Photographs

Prior to the 1860s, children learned their '3Rs' by attending a 'private adventure school' for, at most, one or two years in their early childhood. Presteigne had five or six such schools, ran by elderly gentlemen and women in their homes and charging a few pence each week for tuition. In the 1860s, two church schools opened. The town also had two free schools, the Iron School, a 'ragged school' which helped the poorer children in the town get some form of education, and Greenfields, founded to provide girls not only with an elementary education but also training in domestic skills. These photographs are of the Iron School (so called because it met in an iron shed-like building) and Greenfields School.

In the classroom:  

Look at the two photographs. Which school taught the poorer children in the town? Look at the children's clothes. Can you see the hobnail boots worn by some at the Iron School? Look at the classroom at Greenfields. Does it look like your classroom? Do you think it would be comfortable sitting at those desks all day? What sort of things do you think would be on the walls?


Greenfields School

The Iron School


Forthcoming Events

Strange But True

  • list arrowHow did Victorians try out a new invention?

    Test it on the servants of course! That's what happened in 1860 at The Judge's Lodging, when gas lighting was put into the basement and not the Judge's rooms. They wanted to see if they got sick from the fumes. The servants were fine - that's why we got the lights working again.

Historical Handy Hints