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Horncliffe, Northumberland

Horncliffe School House

Last Updated:

8 Apr 2024

Horncliffe, Northumberland

This is a


55.741053, -2.115320

Founded in 


Current status is


Designer (if known):


Now a private residence

Another surprising survivor in Horncliffe near the River Tweed - the village School House.

This was built way way back in 1833. This was an era well before state mandated education. Education will have undoubtedly been funded by the community and local clergy, mostly likely Presbyterian here. In fact, a piece in the Newcastle Journal states the Rev. Dr Gilly, vicar of Norham, provided £10 “in support of the subscription school”.

There was no national curriculum, so basic language and maths as well as specific skills needed for the village - maybe woodworking, iron working and fishing.

Funnily enough, an annual tradition took place for the schoolchildren where they would march to Loanend for a closing party at R Nicholson Esq.‘s mansion house. Football, cricket, athletics, tug of war and acrobatics all took place - basically a big sports day in the 1890s.

The school was certainly in use until the 1950s, and after its closure the kids were probably taught in Berwick. It’s now been tastefully converted into a private residence.

Listing Description (if available)

Both Ordnance Survey maps illustrate the school house between the 1860s and 1890s. The village grew as a salmon farming community, meaning the school was directly in the centre of much of the activity here. It was flanked by 2 sets of terraces, likely owned by the fishermen which served the community's original purpose. A Post Office was also located over the road.

The 1920s Ordnance Survey highlights how little change the settlement has experienced in the past 170 years. The same amenities feature today at Horncliffe, or have been repurposed into housing. A war memorial was added to commemorate those who lost their lives in WWI next to the Pres. Chapel.


The School House in 2024


A stone inscription on the building stated it was built in AD 1833. Sadly, the inscription along the top of the tablet has faded.


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