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The Church School at Barton Mills

School childrenThe school was built in 1845 and was closed in 1939. It consisted of one large classroom and one small one with entrances on either side - one for the boys and one for the girls. During the war it was used as accommodation for the Army. In 1949 my late husband and I bought it from the church in order to convert it to a single storey house. The small classroom was made into a kitchen and a dining room; the large one into a lounge and two bedrooms. 

Two extra rooms were built on either side for a bedroom and a study and the porches became a bathroom and an entrance hall. The four archways which led to the playground now led to the garden. As they were a feature of the house we called our new home "The Arches", not "The Old School" as expected by the locals. We moved in with our twin children in 1950 and spent twenty-three happy years there. My husband died in 1972 and I sold the property in 1973.

Copyright 2000: Marie Ponsford (nee Cooke)

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac