Burton-le-Coggles is a small, pretty, traditional village located south of Grantham in south Lincolnshire, just off the main road between Bitchfield and Corby Glen. Burton-le-Coggles, originally “Byrton-en-les-Coggles” – named for the path of cobbles (or coggles) which ran through the area – is mentioned in Domesday, when it had several farms, extensive woods and a mill. In 1276, the Manor house at “Burton-by-Corby” was occupied by Walter Pedwardyn, and by 1387 William Deyncourt was the holder of the Manor.
Robert Cholmeley bought the Manor of Burton-le-Coggles in 1561. He died without children in 1590, having only married late in life at the age of 57. His likeness can be seen as a brass in the Church in Burton-le-Coggles, where he is buried. Robert’s Estate passed to his nephew and ward, Henry, who bought the neighbouring Manor of Easton in 1592, when he was 30. The Cholmeley family still live in the area and The Easton Estate, and Easton Walled Gardens, are still owned and managed by the family. The Cholmeley (pronounced “Chumley”) family originated in Cheshire, having settled near Malpas after the Norman Invasion of 1066. The family were Norman in origin, and took the name of the Manor which they had been given after the Conquest – Cholmondeley.
The earliest records show that the original School was endowed by John Speight in 1734, at which time the School was free to all the poor of the parish. The Schoolmaster, appointed by the Trustees (the Rector and the Lord of the Manor – at that time this was John Cholmeley of Easton Hall), was paid from the rent from land donated by Speight.
There was originally no school-room but Sir Montague Cholmeley built a Free School in around 1806, which the Schoolmaster kept in repair. The School House was probably added in around 1830.
By 1830, there were 13 boys and 9 girls who benefitted from the Trust, and by 1835 there were 26 boys and 12 girls taught at the School. In 1878, the School became a Parochial School, still supported partially by the Speight’s School Charity, and capable of holding 60 pupils. By 1885 the average attendance was 40 pupils, and in 1889 it was 35.
In 1904, the School was enlarged at a cost of £100 to hold up to 80 children and had become a Public Elementary School, but in 1905 the average attendance was 43 pupils. The attendance had dropped to 27 by 1909. From about 1916, children over 13 were transferred to Corby Council School, and those over 11 were transferred there from 1923.
The School sadly closed in 1982, and the remaining children were transferred to Ingoldsby School. The School itself was converted into a dwelling, with the playground becoming a garden, and the School House is now a Holiday Cottage.
The site of Easton Hall and its surviving buildings (on the highest level of the Heritage At Risk register for decades) is now a thriving tourist attraction as Easton Walled Gardens, which is at the centre of the Easton Estate. For more information on the Estate and on Easton Walled Gardens, please see www.visiteaston.co.uk.