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The bank that used to be Fernside school and the girl who became its long-serving principal



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Well before Lloyds Bank took over its current address in St Peter's Hill, the building was used as a school.

It was Fernside School for young ladies and was established in 1854.

At the time, living in the Post Office on the Market Place, with her postmaster father, was three-year old Margaret Anne Hancock, who would later become the school’s long-serving principal.

After leaving school, Margaret went to live in Putney to become a governess to the superintendent of schools there. By the time of the 1881 census, Margaret, then aged 30, had become the principal of Fernside. She had a governess and six scholars aged between 14 and 17, plus a cook and a housemaid.

Fernside School for young ladies was situated in St Peter's Hill. (56401798)
Fernside School for young ladies was situated in St Peter's Hill. (56401798)

She improved the school considerably and by 1911, when she was aged 60, it had become a girls’ boarding and day school and a preparatory school for boys. Another headmistress had joined and there were four other teachers and 19 girls boarding aged between eight and 19, plus a cook and two housemaids.

Lloyds Bank in St Peter's Hill used to be the location for Fernside School. (56401850)
Lloyds Bank in St Peter's Hill used to be the location for Fernside School. (56401850)

During the First World War the number of pupils at the school declined considerably and the building was advertised for sale in May 1917. It had a large entrance hall, cloakroom, kitchen, pantry and scullery, large drawing room and schoolroom with pantry on the ground floor. The first floor had cloakroom, schoolroom, three bedrooms, whilst the top floor had a large dormitory, three bedrooms and a box room, plus two staircases. There were three more bedrooms at the back of the house, and a yard, playground and garden.

Margaret died in 1933 aged 82.

Ruth Cook, Grantham Civic Society.

To contact Grantham Civic Society visit www.granthamcivicsociety.co.uk search on Facebook, call secretary John Manterfield on 01476 565782 or email granthamcivicsociety@virginmedia.com



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