|Little Wigborough school was built in 1875 with room for 50 pupils. It was closed by 1894 and all trace has gone. Its location is shown on the map below.
Little Wigborough School on west side of Copt Hall Lane, opposite track to Copthall Grove.
From Ordnance Survey Essex XLVI.3 Published 1897. The school is also on the 1921 revision.
Essex Record Office has plans dated August 1871 for a school in Little Wigborough for 30 infants.
Kelly's 1882 directory tells us the parish has a "National School built 1875 for about 50 children with an average attendance of 20. Miss Ada Whatham [sic], mistress." [1881 Census has Ada Whithams, 17, Under Teacher, living with aunt Sarah Whithams in Great Wigborough. Lodging there is Julia Foddy, teacher, who is at Great Wigborough school.]
9.18 am 22 April 1884 a severe earthquake hit the area. Two year old Harry Ponder had been taken to school to get him out of his mother's way, because it was washing day. When the earthquake occurred, all the children rushed outside - leaving Harry still in there, until the mistress went in to get him out.
Kelly's 1894 Directory says "The children attend school at Great Wigborough" so the school must have closed - it appears to have had a very short life.
The 1891 Census may show the reason - there are only 17 children of what was then school age 5-12. But from age 10, children could leave school to work if they had reached the required educational standard, and indeed Frederick Wenlock of Marsh Cottage, age 11, is shown as an Agricultural Labourer.
In Minutes of the Great and Little Wigborough Parochial Church Council, 2 August 1934, it was stated that the Rector and Church Wardens had in hand the sum of £25 from the sale of the old Little Wigborough School.
There is no sign of the school now, but Sheila Gray and Bernie Ratcliffe tell us that when the field is ploughed, bricks sometimes come up. Bernie Ratcliffe lived in Copt Hall Lane, and says that when his brother was ploughing the field a few years back, he disturbed the concrete slab that had been placed over the well, and a tractor wheel went down into the hole. His brother worked at Grove Farm.
Peldon and the 1884 Earthquake
1897 Ordnance Survey map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland maps.nls.uk