East Lulworth

A  One-Place Study and part of the Dorset OPC Network


East Lulworth Catholic School

Memories of East Lulworth Catholic School:

As a child I attended East Lulworth RC school. With my sister Mary and a girl named Nancy Hargreaves, who lived at Lulworth Camp we were the only Protestants in the school, although Miss Belfield who was one of the teachers was also a Protestant.

We went to the school because my mother had heard that Miss Yarnitsky was the best teacher in Dorset. She was a most talented teacher. Among other things, she played the piano like a professional, taught us how to recover a chair, make baskets and taught us dramatics (which came in handy at the school Christmas concerts). She taught the whole school how to swim and also taught us how to garden.

Every Wednesday she marched the whole school through the village to the allotments. We all had a plot of land. The oldest student taught the youngest.

We planted potatoes, parsnips, brussel sprouts, peas and spring onions together with lettuce and radishes. The way the gardens were arranged we had something to take home every week. One Christmas I remember picking frozen brussel sprouts and digging up parsnips to take home.

Miss Yarnitsky was a most remarkable lady and it was my privilege to have had her as a teacher along with Miss Sturmey and Miss Belfield.

Albert Spavins, 2009


East Lulworth shoemaker Henry Rolls recorded these events in his diary …

Special thanks to Tanya McKenzie for transcribing these.

East Lulworth shoemaker Henry Rolls recorded these events in his diary …

Special thanks to Tanya McKenzie for transcribing these.

Children of East Lulworth Catholic School c.1921

Special thanks to Nanette Hall in British Columbia, Canada for sending in this photograph

Further information about each of the children who appeared in this school photograph is provided on the Schoolchildren page in our Group Photos section.

East Lulworth had two schools, a National School established in 1840 and a Catholic School established in 1855. The Catholic School closed in 1969 and the National School some years before.

East Lulworth National School

Catholic School


Henry Fisher 17yrs to c.1863

Mr Donnlley

Hrj p63

The National School was opened in 1840 and, according to Kelly’s Directory of 1889, had an average attendance of 50. The school building still remains intact and is now a private dwelling with the name ‘Old School House’.

Former School Masters & Mistresses include:

James MORRIS (1841)

Henry FISHER (1861)

Miss Helena LEDWITH (1861)

Mrs Hannah KITCATT (1861)

Mrs Ann TRENT (1891)

Mrs GREENHALGH (c.1915)

Children of East Lulworth National School c.1881

Special thanks to Pam Whitby for sending us this photograph. Pam’s grandmother Louise Frances Brown is amongst the children pictured. The teacher on the left is believed to be Anne Trent (nee Bartlett) and the teacher on the right is understood to be Anne's younger sister Elizabeth Bartlett.


SCHOOL TREAT - Thursday, August 3rd, was a day of much rejoicing in East Lulworth, being the school feast of the National School. The managers and friends of the school contributed most liberally, among whom we must notice principally E. L. Kindersley, Esq., Clyffe; Rev. N. Bond, Grange; Mrs. Kendall, East Lulworth Vicarage; Mrs. White, Burton; Mrs. G. Budden, Coombe; &c. The Wool Brass Band was in attendance, and headed the school children (numbering 73) in a procession round the village, which formed a very pleasing and happy sight, nearly every child carrying a banner with appropriate mottoes. After tea prizes were awarded to the 44 children who passed the Government examination, and books to the value of £1 5s were distributed. A most pleasant afternoon and evening were spent, and all thoroughly enjoyed themselves, under the excellent management and liberality of Mrs. Kendall. An excellent tea was provided by Mr. Lawrence, grocer. Before separating, the children heartily cheered the kind friends of the School, and their excellent and beloved mistress, Mrs. Trent.

Published in Western Gazette, 11 August 1876

A glimpse of the former National School in 2013 and, inset, the Old School House sign

A Catholic School  was established around 1855. A new building was constructed in 1877 close to the Weld Arms on the opposite side of the lane to the National School. The school closed in 1968 when a new catholic school opened at Wool and the school building fell into disrepair for the best part of 40 years. The building was subsequently renovated and today houses a gift shop and cafe.

The former East Lulworth Catholic School building pictured in 2013

The location for the old school bell can be clearly seen

The former East Lulworth Catholic School building pictured in 2013

Do you have any photographs of either school, or of the former schoolchildren that you are willing to share?

Let us know what memories you have. Email us at info@eastlulworth.org.uk