Clergy Daughters School

The Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge, near Kirkby Lonsdale, was founded by Rev Carus Wilson in January 1824 for the daughters of impoverished vicars, curates, priests, and ministers.

Subscribers to the school included William Wilberforce, the Hull philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner, and Hannah More, the religious writer. The buildings were originally a cottage and a bobbin-mill.

Pupils recorded at the school included

In 1824, the fees were £14 per pupil per year, plus £1 admission fee, plus £3 for extras such as French, Music and Drawing.

The conditions at the school were unpleasant. On Sundays, the children had to walk to Tunstall Church where they spent the whole day. The food was bad and often inedible.

In early 1825, a typhus epidemic swept through the school. Some of those who died at the school are buried at nearby Leck Church.

The school moved to Casterton in 1833.

Charlotte's experiences at the school were to inspire much of Jane Eyre: she based Lowood School on Cowan Bridge School, and the Rev Brocklehurst was based on Carus Wilson.

In 1857, there was some controversy about the similarity between Lowood School and Cowan Bridge.

The school buildings are now private dwellings

This & associated entries use material contributed by Paul Hitchings

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 12:33 / 3rd April 2024 / 5399

Page Ref: QQ_127

search tips advanced search
site search by freefind