MEM23581 - School House, The Steep, Winsford (Building)


The school was built by the Acland family. It is shown on historic mapping and is still extant. It was used as a community computer centre after June 1998 and is now a private dwelling.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

No building is depicted on this site on the Winsford Tithe Map of 1839. The site is shown as part of an enclosure included in the lands of The Farm (land parcel 609). [1] By the time the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map was surveyed, the land has been subdivided and a school had been constructed. It appears to have changed little in plan form by the time of the 2nd Edition map and has been little altered since, although it no longer appears to be in use as a school. [2-4] The building has undergone a change of use. The school was attended by Ernest Bevin (1881-1951), former Foreign Secretary (1945-1951) and trades union leader. [5] The building is in use by the Exmoor Community Computer Centre. [6] The children of Winsford Parish and from some outlying farms beyond went to Winsford School from the age of 5 or 6 until they left school at 14. Scholarships were available from the late 1930s and successful children went to the Grammar School in Minehead. Some children had to walk to the school from as far away as Luckyard Farm and Knaplock, with no school transport available. During the Second World War, there were over 100 pupils in the school. It was closed forcibly in 1995. The school was provided by the Aclands who had expressed the wish that the building should always be used for educational purposes. Rather than convert the property to a house, a charity was formed to keep the building for community use. It is now a community computing centre. The school was attended by The Rt Hon Ernest Bevin, wartime Minister of Labour, British Foreign Secretary 1945-1951, architect of NATO and world statesman. He entered on 26 May 1884 and left in 1889. The school was turned into a community education centre with an emphasis on computer training and opened in June 1998. It also hosts a doctor's surgery and a complementary health care centre. [7] Winsford school was established in 1881 by the Aclands with Lady Carnarvon. [8] The school is the smallest local authority school on Exmoor and in Somerset. Rt Hon Ernest Bevin attended between 26 May 1884 and 1889. The school was a Church of England foundation built in 1873. Mr W Dicker, headmaster, recorded in 1913 that 148 different wild flowers and ferns grew in Winsford's fields and hedgerows. The headmistress in 1979 was Mrs Sylvia Adams, who took up the post in 1971. It was proposed to close the school in 1987 but local opposition prevailed. [9] William Dicker was the Master of Winsford School between 1889 and 1924. His wife was named Caroline and she worked with him, teaching cookery and general housekeeping. Mr Dicker had a strong interest in nature study and encouraged his pupils to follow his example. A summary of his time there is recorded in Exmoor Review. [10] The building is now a private dwelling. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Map: 1839. Winsford Tithe Map and Apportionment. Land parcel 609.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap.
  • <5> Report: Fisher, J.. 2005. Winsford: Village Character Appraisal. 7,11,14.
  • <6> Website: Google. 2014 -. Google Maps. Street View, 24 May 2016.
  • <7> Leaflet: Various. 2004. A Winsford Anthology. 26-27, 62-3.
  • <8> Monograph: Villiers, S.. 2012. Village schooling in Somerset: Learn 'em hard. Ryelands.. 1st Edition. 214.
  • <9> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. Volume 30 (1989), "Winsford First School", p67-68 (J Crisford).
  • <10> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. Volume 31 (1990), "Oh yes, I remember the Dickers!", p59-62 (J Crisford).
  • <11> Verbal communication: Various. Various. ENPA archaeologist field visit. Catherine Dove, 1 August 2016.

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local List Status (Candidate)



Grid reference Centred SS 9048 3502 (25m by 15m) (MasterMap)
Map sheet SS93NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Apr 15 2020 11:42AM


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