Jersey School

In 1983 the Society’s fourth plaque was unveiled. This time an unusual medium, and by request.

A report stated that:

“On Sunday 18th September 1983, Society members examined an historic building in Newark which has just been marked with a plaque. The building in Guildhall Street, used as a workshop by Mr McNamara of Barnbygate, Newark, was once the Jersey School from 1688 until about 1900 where girls were taught how to prepare woollen garments.

It was Mr McNamara’s idea to put up a plaque, and he had a small slate sign made with the words “The Jersey School founded by Henry Stone in 1688”.jersey school

Mr H V Radcliffe, Curator of Newark Museum and Society Secretary, said it was the first time anyone had contacted the Society saying they wished to erect a plaque.”

The Plaque, to which the Society contributed, cost about £63.25.


However, surprisingly this Plaque caused some controversy! Some three year’s later; a letter appeared in the ‘Newark Advertiser’:

“On the back of a house now facing Baldertongate has appeared a plaque bearing the words ‘The Jersey School, founded by Henry Stone 1688’. In fact the Jersey School was already in existence in 1623 when John Lilley gave property in Bathley for the benefit of the school.

Henry Stone died in 1688, leaving £1,400 to the Corporations of Lincoln and Newark. Newark’s half was to be settled for the use of the Jersey School. The successor school is known to this day as the Lilley & Stone School.

Plainly the school was not founded in 1688 nor by Henry Stone and there is plenty of evidence to corroborate this.

The authority responsible for the incorrect plaque – Newark Archaeological & Local History Society et al – should remove it altogether, or replace it with a correct statement.”

The following week, our Chairman, Mr Wyc Lummus, responded:

“I do agree with Miss Barbara Dibb (News views February 28th) that John Lilley left property in 1623 to assist poor children working in a Jersey School and in default of such a school, to be applied to the poor of the town.

Nothing is known of this building or its site.

The building in Guildhall Street is associated with the charity of Henry Stone, founded in 1688, and this Newark Archaeological & Local History Society decided to commemorate.

As the report of Commissioners for enquiries concerning charities in 1829 says: ‘In respect of Stone’s Charity, there has been expended in support of a Jersey School an average of £11 7s 1d per annum. The Corporation are now possessed of six houses in Parish Lane (now Guildhall Street), one of which is the Jersey School (abbreviated).’

So Cornelius Brown, in his History 1907 headed his section ‘Henry Stone’s Charity’ – The Jersey School.”

A couple of private letters between the writers ensued, but nothing was changed, and so the plaque remains to this day!