Ancestry UK

Farnham and Hartley Wintney School District, Hampshire

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Formed in 1849, the Farnham and Hartley Wintney School District was one of the few such bodies set up under a Poor Law Commissioners' scheme to encourage adjacent Unions to operate combined Poor Law Schools for children whose parents were in the workhouse. The school also took children from the adjacent Alton union.

Initially, the School District operated a school in the former Gilbert Parish workhouse at Aldershot, but this was sold to the Board of Ordnance in 1855 and a new school was built near Crondall.

An 1859 directory described the school as follows:

The DISTRICT PAUPER SCHOOL, for the pauper children of Hartley-Wintney, Farnham, and Alton Unions, is an extensive brick building, with stone dressings, situated about 2 miles S. of Crondall village, and 2½ miles W. of Farnham. It was erected in 1856, at the cost of about £7500, in lieu of the former District School at Aldershott, which was purchased by the Government in 1855, and converted into a Hospital for Soldiers. It has room for about 200 children, in two departments for boys and girls; and attached to it are 16 acres of land.

The school's location and layout in 1913 are shown on the map below:

Crondall school site, 1913

The main building had an E-shaped layout, with the girls accommodated in the east wing and the boys in the west. Other buildings included a laundry, chapel and stables, and a school block was placed at the north-east of the site.

The school was later known as Wimble Hill District School, eventually closing in 1930. In 1948, the site was taken over by the National Health Service as Wimble Hill Hospital, dealing with psychiatric patients.

Wimble Hill Hospital from the south.

A block to the north-east of the main school (labeled "School" on the 1913 map) was then used as staff quarters.

Wimble Hill Hospital staff block from the north-west, 2001.
© Peter Higginbotham.

The hospital closed the early 1970s and main building soon became derelict. In the 1990s, the main building was demolished and the other blocks, including the chapel, were converted to private residential use.

Crondall chapel from the south-east, 2001.
© Peter Higginbotham.


  • 1859 — Superintendent: Mr Geo. Croucher; Matron: Mrs Croucher; Schoolmaster: Hy. Oliver; Schoolmistress: Eliz. Knight; Porter: John Birch
  • 1881 Census
  • 1898 — Superintendent: John Gosling; Matron: Mrs Ada Gosling; Medical Officer: James Lorrimer.



Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester SO23 8TH. Holdings include: Admissions and discharges (boys, 1846-70); Attendance registers (1852-96, with gaps); Journals of instruction in industry (1850-53); etc.


  • White's Directory of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 1859.
  • None.

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