Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 19, 2016
Webpage updated: March 29, 2021

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Devonport's third Board School was erected in Cherry Garden Street, which was later to be renamed York Street.

The Board raised a loan from the Public Works Loan Commissioners of 440 in September 1873 towards the construction of Cherry Garden Street School.

Inclusive of the fixtures and fittings, the School cost 3,190, which amounted to an expenditure of 4 16s 8d per pupil.  The school was completed in February 1874.  A Mr Clifton was the architect and Mr Trevena was the contractor.  The School was opened in July 1874 to accommodate 660 children.  It covered an area of 6,711 square feet.  The total cost of the site, buildings & architect's commission was 3,216 19s 5d, which worked out at a cost per child of 4 17s 6d.

At that time it comprised a large school-room plus two smaller class-rooms on the ground floor and similar accommodation on the first floor.  Two or sometimes three classes were held at the same time in the large rooms.  Although there were playgrounds for the boys and girls, they were small and partly under cover.   Access to the boys' area was down a long, steep staircase, at the bottom of which were the toilets.

Between 1883 and 1886 an extra class-room was built to accommodate a further 46 boys.  Soon after the School was extended to take an extra 240 boys.

By 1889 the School had been enlarged to accommodate 946 children, although the average attendance at the time was 380 boys, 230 girls and 240 infants.   The Master was Mr Thomas Gaud, the Mistress was Mrs Louisa Cramer and the infants were in the charge of Miss Amelia Cooper.

In 1894 the School became the York Street Board School.  The average attendance had dropped off a bit and by 1902 was 320 boys, 180 girls and 150 infants.  The staff were the same as in 1889.

Following the transfer of education from the Devonport School Board to the Devonport Local Education Authority on June 1st 1903, it became the York Street Elementary School.