In 1772 the Reverend Matthew Eaton left his estate to be sold and invested for the apprenticing of poor children and the relief of the poor of the parishes of Harwell, Milton and Hagbourne. A house and orchard in Harwell, Robert Loder’s school, was put to the use of the schoolmaster as an extra benefit. Although some grants were made, there never seems to have been a great demand and most of the payments were for the provision of coal for the needy at Christmas time.
The original bequest being for apprenticing and poor relief, the 1893 scheme directed that half the income should go to the education account and half to the Almshouse account. The education account, which included funds from other charities, was put to prizes and grants to encourage good attendance and progress at school, higher education and technical or art instruction by means of classes.
The 1893 scheme also provided that, following the closure of Loder’s school, the schoolmaster should be pensioned off with £30 a year but be allowed to continue to live in the schoolhouse at a rent of not more than £5 a year. The Old Schoolhouse, as it has become known, in Stepps Lane, continued to be let until 1921, when it was sold.
In 1926 the Technical Institute (now Village Hall) was built to house the classes for technology and art, funded by this and other charities. In 1985 half the income of this charity was paid to the Village Hall.
- David (Webmaster) –
12 Jan 2009
This charity is now part of THE FRANCES GEERING ALMSHOUSE CHARITY – Charity Number 204399 -. See the Charity Commission’s web site for more information. http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/The Harwell Village Hall is a separate registered charity, number 300161.