Kirby Bellars is a village and parish in north-east Leicestershire, three miles west of Melton Mowbray.
Daily schools for poorer families in 1818 (population 196 in 1811)
There was one school, taught by a woman, for 10 pupils. Curate John Noble advised that ‘The poor are very anxious to possess the means of instructing their children and as Kirby Bellars is only a short distance from Frisby, a day school there would accommodate both parishes’.
Daily schools in 1835 (population 227 in 1831)
None mentioned. In Frisby on the Wreake there were 2 infant schools (one started in 1829), each with 17 children, and one daily school with 16 children, started in 1823. All expenses were paid by the parents. Some Kirby children possibly attended these.
Daily schools connected to the Anglican Church in 1846-7
One, supported by landowners, with 36 children attending.
A Sunday School started in 1832, suggesting a period without one. There were 34 children attending, 14 males and 20 females.
Anglican School in 1846-7
One Sunday school with 36 children attending, 16 boys and 20 girls.
In 1851 (population 226 in 1851 census)
One Anglican Sunday school with 25 attending on the March census day, and this was the average number through the previous year. There were no nonconformist churches at this time.
By the 1880s there was a Congregational chapel in Kirby Bellars, and testimony of older residents speak of this as a very important element in the life of the village in the first half of the 20th century. In 1917 there were 4 teachers and 21 scholars there, according to the chapel minute book. In 1965 there were only 4 scholars. The Sunday school closed in 1967.
Return to A History of Leicestershire Schools: A-Z
- Education of the Poor Digest, Parl. Papers 1819 (224)
- Education Enquiry, Parl. Papers 1835 (62)
- National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, Result of the Returns to the General Inquiry made by the National Society, into the state and progress of schools for the education of the poor … during the years 1846-7, throughout England and Wales ( London, 1849).
- 1851 Ecclesiastical census