Early History

According to John Hutchins, the Lady Day returns of 1792 revealed that a school in Kingston was first established on 24 September 1786 supported by subscription. There was one teacher. The school was inspected by Rev. J Gent and others and the annual expenses amounted to £2 12s 0d. Over the course of a year, attendance had decreased from 48 to 38, with 12 children admitted and 22 children discharged. Of the 38 children, 25 were classed as ‘over age’.

In 1856, the school house shown below was erected in memory of the late Earl and Countess of Eldon, by their children.

Kingston was the last village in Purbeck to receive a Primary School, for the first Earl was set against it, and his successor did not want to flout his grandfather’s wishes. St. James’s Church School was built and opened in 1861. Beside it was built a good-sized house for the teacher. However, as the number of children in the village dwindled, the school closed in 1961.

A Short History of Kingston” by R.J. Saville, first published 1977, fifth edition 2013
Kingston School c. 1940
Kingston School, c.1940. Postcard courtesy of David Sansom.

Class Photos

Early 1940s: Back row: John Audley, Les Hunt, Fred Lock (Sheralyn’s uncle on her father’s side), Fred Prior, Ron Dorey, Amy Turner, Ivy Chappell, Betty Dorey, Doreen Elwood and Winnie Prior  Front row: Reg Prior, Violet Prior, [unknown], Gerald Stickland, Rita Speak, Norman Beavis, Fred Hunt, Alan Beavis and Roy Hooper.  Note the photo is taken from the school grounds with the Scott Arms in the background. Photograph courtesy of Sheralyn Moule nee Lock.1920/21: Back row: Mrs. Cottrell, David Hunt, Harry Hansford, Fred Damer, Owen Audley, William Hickson, Alfie Green, Miss Moss  Middle row: Joyce Curtis, Linda Jeffries, Margaret Stickland, Ken Barnes, Philip Neale, George Bullen, Win Cooper, Mary Cooper, Nellie Hansford, George Stickland, Henry Kellaway  Front row: Fred Bullen, Edgar Hunt, Frank Hickson, Violet Moore, Jimmy Hansford, Raymond Hooper, William Simpson, Fred Collins1905: Headmaster John Bennett. Back row: Mary Grant, Cissie Hunt, Hilda Joyce, Lily Bartlett, Gladys Walsh  Next row:  William Blanchard, Charlie Bartlett, [Coastguard’s son], Jim Beavis, Fred Bullen, Bertie Dew  Next row:  Edith Dew, Charlotte Holland, Louie Stickland, Rose Davis   Front row:  Tom Bullen, George Mallet, Bob DoreyAt play c.1946: L-R: Margaret PEARSON, Rene DAMER, Colin SANSOM, Miss HARE, Dorothy SQUIRES, Gwen COOPER, Maurice GALE, Margaret WHITE.Kingston School c. 1954/55
Back row standing: Peter Lardner, Lesley Pond, Brian Palmer, Mary Palmer
Middle row seated: David Sansom, Brian Collins, Derek Collins, Miss Usher [teacher], 
Christopher Sansom, Michael Streeter
Front: Brian Hunt, John Lardner.
Photograph courtesy of David SansomOutside the New Church 1946
Back row: Margaret Pearson, John Lock, Maurice Gale, Bob Ford, Julie Dennis
Middle row: 
Sylvia Lock, Janet Sansom, Mildred Gale, Margaret White, Esme Ford, Peggy Elwood 
Front row: John Kellaway, Gwen Cooper, Rene Damer?, Dorothy Squires, Colin SansomKingston School c.1930
Back row:  The boy second in from left may be Leonard Travers
Next row: The girl far left with ribbons in hair is believed to be Muriel Mooney nee Hunt
The girl second from right is believed to be Irene Lardner (nee Sansom)
Photograph courtesy of Andrew Mooney Kingston School 1912 with teacher Millie Thomas
Back row: Ern Sansom, unknown, Bill Damer, Arthur Dorey, Alec Lishman, Willy Seymour,
George Bartlett, Gerald White
Middle row: Arthur Bugler, Fred Cooper?, Jessie Bugler, Annie Stickland, Winnie Drew, 
Chrissie Bugler, Jack Tizzard
Front row: Lily Drew, Dorothy Drew, Reg Norris, May Holland, Hilda Stickland, Agnes Dorey
Kingston School c.1903 with Headmaster John Bennett
The lady pictured back row, far left is Miss Edith Celia Wort (Aunt of Bill Wort)
Photograph courtesy of Bill Wort

Admission Registers

Click here to see part transcriptions of the school admission registers deposited at the Dorset History Centre.

Schoolmasters & Schoolmistresses


James Roe (age 40) – Schoolmaster
Sarah Mary Roe (age 43) – Schoolmistress


James Roe  (age 50) – Schoolmaster & sub-postmaster
Margaretta Whittle (age 17) – Pupil Teacher
Elizabeth Anne Hopkins (age 17) – Pupil Teacher


James Roe (age 60) – Schoolmaster
James Roe (age 24) – Schoolmaster
Harriet White (age 16) – School Teacher
Mary A Squibb (age 15) – School Teacher


John Bennett (age 26) – Schoolmaster
Sarah Bennett (age 27) – Schoolmistress
Jessie L Evans (age 17) – School Teacher
Laura R Webb (age 16) – National School Pupil Teacher


John Bennett (age 36) – Schoolmaster
Sarah Bennett (age 37) – Schoolmistress
Ellen M Joyce (age 29) – Teacher at National School
Mary Ann Groves (age 22) – Assistant Schoolmistress
Hannah Harding (age 16) – Pupil Teacher


John Bennett (age 46) – Schoolmaster
Mary A Groves (age 32) – Assistant Schoolmistress
Amelia M Warren (age 16) – Teacher in National School


Beatrice Mary Allen (age 39) – Teacher, Elementary School
Brenda Shayler (age 27) – School Teacher Assistant
Edith Munden (age 14) – Monatress at School


Millie Thomas


Rosie Hare (age 54)  –  Schoolmistress

A glimpse of the School House in 2009. Photo courtesy of Kingston OPC.

Page last updated: 24 Sep 2020

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