Grandad's Watton

Saham College or Parker's College

Fortunately for the rest of us perhaps, broader views of education prevailed elsewhere. There had been schools in Watton throughout the I9th century, and before, but these in all cases required some degree of parental contribution and this varied, then as now, with the type of selected establishment. Willow House, as well as being Watton's first rectory, tea rooms, dentist's and residence was also, in the mid eighteen hundreds a school for well brought up young ladies. Saham College, or Parker's College as it was sometimes called catered for the sons of minor gentry and better off tradesmen, who would there receive early training in the arts and sciences. It was in the early days of this century that Saham College ceased to echo to the sounds of youthful high spirits and the clump of schoolboy boots on wooded stairs and floors, but the building which still stands, minus one wing, on Richmond Road Saham Toney is now converted to residential properties, of which one still carries the title 'The Old College'. Fees for these schools would be high while at the National and Church-assisted schools the contribution required was only a penny or two a week, but even this small sum some parents could not, or would not, provide, and it was not until 1891 that there was a school place for all children, free of charge.


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