Dropmore was rough open country, extending to some 600 acres, like Littleworth Common, until 1792 when Lord Grenville purchased it and made his home there. Lord Grenville was a prominent politician and was prime minister of the Coalition Government that passed the Act of 1807 for the abolition of the slave trade. After his purchase of the Dropmore property, its improvement occupied all his leisure. He built the house in the park and cut down a hill in front so he could see Windsor Castle. He died here in 1834, and the property passed to the descendants of his sister, Lady Fortescue.
The existence of the school on an 1801 map, but not the one produced 5 years before has helped to determine the opening date of the school as being in the year 1796-97.
The first written record is in 1830 when the school applied for a union with ‘The National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church’, more usually known as The National Society.
In 1853 it was referred to as ‘The Chantry School at Dropmore supplied by the munificence of Lady Grenville’. When Lady Grenville died in 1864 George Matthew Fortescue, the nephew of Lord Grenville, inherited the Dropmore Estate.
In 1874 the school was 'opened', or reconstituted perhaps, as St Anne’s School according to the 1870 Education Act and we have the first Log Book entries.
In 1894 the school was enlarged, following recommendations from the Inspector that a separate classroom for the Infants should be provided. The addition was a square brick building with a bell tower, currently our library.
An official register is kept of all children attending. A second Log Book has been started.
Dropmore House and Estate continued to be in the ownership of the Fortescue family until John Bevill Fortescue died in May 1938. The payment of death duties meant that the House and Estate had to be put up for sale immediately.
In September 1939 school did not re-open until 22nd September. War had been declared and air raid precautions had to be taken to make schools safe before children returned. As well as the usual Dropmore children, nine evacuees arrived and the following day eleven more, increasing the size of the school by a third. After a few weeks the eleven children were transferred. In January 1940 six more evacuees arrived.
On 4th March 1941, the County Council acquired the school premises and the school is now known as ‘Dropmore Council School’.
On 1st September 1960 Mr T A Bryan assumed duties as Headmaster and continued to ongoing refurbishment of the school and premises. The roof was thatched and land acquired for a playing field and a site for a proposed new building. The field and playground were fenced and the hedges cut. New gates relaced those demolished by a skidding car during the holidays.
Due to Government's economy measures building work was postponed and did not commence until February 1965. The County Council officially took over the new building on 12th October 1965.
Due to a County Re-organisation Dropmore became Dropmore First School.
Following a survey by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Dropmore County First school became a Grade I Listed Building.
In January 1996, Mrs J Smith took over as Headteacher. The school celebrated it's 200th birthday with a Victorian Day and a Bicentenary Fete.
Due to a change in the age of transfer in Buckinghamshire, to be in line with the Key Stages, Dropmore loses Year 3 and becomes Dropmore Infant School.
Work on a new classroom / ICT suite started in July and was finally completed in December. The Year 1 children, still to this date, are very lucky with such a bright and spacious classroom!
In the summer term the children were learning about the history of Dropmore and organised a Dropmore Museum for past pupils, parents and staff. The children designed the invitations and applied for jobs at the museum. It was a wonderful day!
First Log Book entry
11th May 1874
Dropmore map 1796 vs 2019
2019 Museum Welcome Committee
DID YOU KNOW?
One possible derivation for the name Dropmore is the number of swallow-holes in the area where the underlying chalk has dissolved away and the surface material sinks into it (‘drops’ on the ‘moor’).
CLAIM TO FAME
Dropmore School has featured in 1 movie, 1 television programme and 1 book!
In 1952 the school was used for a film with Petula Clark and David Tomlinson: ‘Made in Heaven’.
In 1971 the school was used in the book ‘The inquisitive calf’ by Helen Piers.
In 1981 Thames Television spent a day filming for the schools' programme 'The Shadow Cage' using the school playground and the children.
A very special thank you to Phil Street (pupil at St Anne's School from 1951-1958) who kindly organised and paid for our (very) old Log Books to be rebound.
If you have been enthused by this page and would like to see the wealth of information (Log Books, Registers, Maps, Photographs etc) we have about the history of Dropmore, please contact the school office to book an appointment.
Made in Heaven - Movie featuring Dropmore - 1952
The Inquisitive Calf - Book featuring Dropmore - 1971