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Houghton Conquest School in 1904

 Almshouses and school [X254-88-145]
Houghton Conquest almshouses and school [X254/88/145]

Bedfordshire County Council became Local Education Authority for the county in 1903, following the Education Act 1902. In 1904 the CountySurveyor reported on the condition of all the council and voluntary schools in the county under LEA control, excluding those on Bedford and Luton Boroughs which had their own executive arrangements. The surveyor's report [E/SA2/1/1]] took the form below.


These are incorporated with a block of Almshouses; under one roof the latter on the ground level, the former over the tenements, approached by Stone Stairways from the rear.

These are all brick-built and tiled, with stone dressings.

(Erected and Endowed by Sir Francis Clarke, 1632)

(Six Almshouses and a Free School)

Main Room – 37 feet 0 inches x 7 feet 6 inches x 11 feet 6 inches.

This is a very poor room; insufficiently lighted; walls very shallow; ceiling in roof, which is very low for its width; it is badly ventilated, and the Approaches are by two stone external Stairways, which are very defective.

Warming is by a Tortoise Stove.

Six Tobin Tubes and Two Exhaust Ventilators are necessary.

Infants’ Room – 38 feet 0 inches x 13 feet 9 inches x 7 feet 9 inches walls, to 10 feet 0 inches and 11 feet 0 inches ceilings.

This is even less suitable than the last room. It is a very poor, unwholesome room for infants.

Ventilation is very necessary by four Tobin Tubes and Exhaust Ventilator.


These are fairly roomy. One is a General Landing for the School, also for the Master’s Bedrooms. The floor hereabout is very uneven and rough.

Ventilation and light are very poor.


The Schoolrooms are fairly clean. The Lobbies and Stairway need renovating.


These are very near to the Buildings. They are pail closets. Very dilapidated and foul, no deodorant, either earth of ash being used.

A Barn is provided for School Fuel.


The Master’s portion of this block comprises three centre rooms, used as Parlour, Kitchen, and Scullery on the left of Stairway; on the right, one of the Almshouse tenements is now used by the Master as a Store; also three Bedrooms, which are over the East end Tenements.

The House needs cleansing and renewing.

Offices, the same as for School; Barn for Coals etc.

External Repairs and Painting are necessary

Water Supply

This is good, and is obtained from a deep draw Well.

N.B. – These premises, which are 272 years old, are so far from being suitable for School purposes as to call for a serious inquiry before further expenditure.

I learn from the Head Master there are 140 children attending.