Wellow Church Schoolroom & Heritage Centre
Built in 1854 under the authority of the School Sites Acts of 1841 & 1844 Wellow's Schoolroom began its role in serving its rural community. The 5th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne (later known as Lyme) granted the land and built this well-proportioned red brick and tiled roof building to help provide facilities for the education of the poor. In line with the Acts' suggested trustees, the duke’s deed of grant gave the Minister and Church Wardens of the parish the honour of being its managers. In these safe hands the building remains to this day.
Throughout the mid to late 1800s the Schoolroom saw young children of the village educated by well-educated teachers who both came from the village and from nearby villages. It will have been a great addition to the village in a time when many families were dependent on making their living from working on village farms and in the small industries which had developed within it or around it. Many families were unable to afford to have their children educated, and so what a joy for families to have this beautiful little building erected in the centre of the village and a teacher engaged to educate and watch over their children whilst parents worked.
Come the end of the century larger schools in Ollerton emerged and Wellow's Schoolroom, having been the place of village meetings and gatherings many a time before, became The Village Hall, and in 1921 the 7th Duke slightly updated his grandfather’s deed of grant to reflect its multiple forms of use and its benefit to the inhabitants of the parish of Wellow. Its uses include/included such purposes as a village hall, reading room, club room, lecture hall, and entertainment hall. A rather important use in the 1870s was that whilst the village church was having significant repairs made, the Schoolroom stepped in to take on its role and was consecrated in order to do so – that consecration has never been revoked.
From 1926-1940 the Schoolroom's services as a school were required again, due to over-crowding in other schools. It was at this time the room was split by a screen into two, with one side having a fireplace and the other a pot-belly stove. Both infants and juniors were taught in Maths, English, sometimes reciting poetry and the learning of such crafts as sewing. Children went home at lunchtime, and at playtimes the village greens were sometimes used rather than the very small school grounds.
After WW2 it returned as the village hall. Amongst many other occasions, there were dances and teas which raised money for village causes and from the 1950s to early 1980s the Maypole Day May Queen banquets were held there. Regular events which gave great enjoyment were whist and beetle drives, which many residents still remember fondly today. The Schoolroom was a hive of activity which is why it is loved so dearly and why in 2013 after almost two decades of being rented out as an artist's studio and after a thorough assessment of its condition, it was time to lavish some meaningful restoration on it.
A small dedicated and enthusiastic team joined the three trustees along with carefully chosen heritage experts to restore this 165-year-old building. From 2013-15 sources of funding were researched, as well as an annual Easter Raffle begun. By mid-2016 the Schoolroom's interior walls had been stripped of layers of paint revealing its beautiful bricks, its windows were repaired and partly rebuilt, its ceiling insulated, its wood wormed flooring removed, new oak flooring put down and a new kitchenette and WC installed. With the roof and boundary walls being repaired with more grants in 2018/19, villagers were astonished at how beautiful this little building in the centre of the village really was.
Time to celebrate – yes, indeed! So, on 2nd July 2019 a re-opening ceremony took place, funding representatives were invited along with villagers and wider-community supporters. Soon afterwards groups were back in holding their meetings again, and then came Covid-19. The remaining restoration of the west boundary wall continued, a bespoke fireplace cabinet made, and the Schoolroom's two-year heritage research project realised – enabling the Schoolroom to add yet another string to its bow in becoming Wellow's centre for heritage research. Besides serving the village as a place for all the usual ways a village/community hall does, it adheres firmly to its original purpose of educating all who enter it, including about the heritage and history of Wellow itself and holding seminars, training, lectures and events. The village is proud to have this Victorian gem back in great shape ready for the future.
If you would like to hire the Schoolroom in Wellow please make an enquiry by sending an email to.
A member of the Schoolroom committee will be happy to show you everything the Schoolroom has to offer if you would like to arrange a venue show around.
The Schoolroom can comfortably host 50 people and its current equipment includes: Heating through 5 radiators; disabled sized WC; Kitchenette equipped with kettle, top quality crockery, cutlery and glasses (including champagne flutes) for 40 people; 40 comfortable chairs (additional chair hire available); 3 large and 4 medium length Gopak tables; 3 poseur tables; conference tables; a 203cm wall-mounted projector screen, projector and projector trolley table.
For further information click here:
For bookings please send an email to:
The Heritage Centre
As part of the Lottery funded heritage project seven heritage panels have been produced for the Schoolroom, along with exhibitions, photograph albums and artefacts. Following are copies of those panels.