Answers to Questions


Great Hormead,
Historical Records for Teaching

February, 2009



Great Hormead

Andrew Reade (andrew.reade @t of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, wrote: As a recently appointed Head Teacher at Hormead C of E Primary school I am attempting to find out a little more about the history of Great Hormead and it's school.

I believe that the school was founded around 1849...and I have found log books and punishment books going back to 1923 whilst clearing out a cupboard. I am aware from an internet search that Hormead was written about in the Hertfordshire Countryside magazine at least once, possibly twice by a man with the surname "Ford" I understand that you have an extensive collection of Hertfordshire Countryside Magazines. Are you able to track down any articles about Great Hormead and if so could copies be made available for me to view?

I am pursuing other avenues as well...most specifically the local church records (we are a church school) and also the archives kept at county hall...many old log books may have been passed on to them for safe keeping.

As a result of your request I have added two pages to the Great Hormead page - descriptions of the village in 1863 and 1931. The first is from a trade directory  and there is a good collection of trade directories at HALS (County Hall, Hertford) and most (at least after 1850) will mention the school and name the head teacher. HALS also has an excellent collection of Hertfordshire books, and original records of the village. It has a manuscript map of the village (along with Little Hormead and Furneaux Pelham) made in 1828. They will also have Ordnance Survey maps and undoubtedly have some old photographs.
The Booklet Bringing Literacy to Rural England records that the National Society for the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church records that a grant of 50 was made to Great Hormead for a school in 1815.
The 1841-1901 census is available online at Ancestry (and in part elsewhere) and provides vivid snapshots of who lived in the village and what they did. Census returns are often used in teaching local history in primary schools because the records are easily understood by children of that age. Ancestry can be accessed free online from any Hertfordshire library - and it may also be available to Hertforshire schools as well. I don't know if you can get free access to the 1911 census.
The National Archives contains records of the school from the 19th century - but I have not searched their online index in detail.  I have worked on similar records for other Hertfordshire Schools - and found both plans for buildings and inspection reports from the 19th century.
I attach scans of two articles on Great Hormead from the Hertfordshire Countryside by A J Ford. I suspect that there are many other articles and also pictures, and HALS has an index (it was on cards but I believe it is has been computerised) which should be much more comprehensive than anything I have.
Let me know how you get on - I am always interested in the use of historical records in teaching.

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