Rosley Parish Cumbria






Education in Rosley


The Original Craggs School


By the early eighteenth century the people of Rosley were seeking to have their children educated.  They petitioned their landowner, the Earl of Egremont, for permission to build a school and to supply a master for the said school at their own expense.

The petition stated that


"Being mindful of the great disadvantages they and their respective families labour under for want of that benefit (education), the tenants came to an agreement, by contribution amongst themselves, to build a school house and to hire a master to teach their children."

Apparently this appeal was not granted but by the early nineteenth century a school had indeed been built on the land identified in this petition.   The school at Craggs Rigg received ?6 a year to educate six poor children of the parish.  In 1846 Mr Joseph Hodge left ?600 in trust for the education of poor children of the parish.  The interest from this bequest still provides money to children of the parish who have attended Rosley School and go on to further education.         

This school was falling into disrepair and restoration funds were sought in 1872.  Building repairs were carried out by James Laing of Sebergham, a nearby village: the national building firm, John Laing has its roots in and around our community.     

At the same time as the Craggs school was being upgraded funds for a new school were being raised.  This school was to be nearer the centre of the community of Rosley on land not far from the church which had been built in 1840.  Interest in the project had first been mooted in 1871. The specifications for construction, when put out to tender, stipulated that much of the materials had to come from within the district.  Stone had to come from either Howrigg or Chalk quarries, both are in the parish, the steps and flags were to be from Howrigg.  

Rosley with Woodside School

This school was built at the crossroads near to the church and opened in November 1873.  Twenty seven scholars were registered at the school: each one paid 3d (slightly more than 1p) per week.  In 1895 the Craggs School closed and seven pupils transferred to the Rosley with Woodside school.

In 1960 the school was inspected and the decision made that a new school should be built. The children left the old school on 20th October 1961 and returned after the half term holidays to the new school which was just up the road opposite the church. The new school was officially opened by the Bishop of Carlisle on 30th October 1961.

The School as it is today

The most recent extension was officially opened in November 2007. An open day to celebrate the event saw many former pupils united for the first time in many years.  It is a testimony to the stability of our population that those present included four generations of one family, and a brother and sister whose children and grandchildren are all former or current pupils.


Click on the thumbnail to read more about the memories generated by the opening of the new section of the school.

Pre-school education is provided by the Busy Bees, who have premises in the school grounds. Secondary education is provided outwith the community either at Caldew School in Dalston or at Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton.

Rosley School has its own website. Click here to go to their website.