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Ask Joan
Joan Leach is a local historian, a volunteer at the Heritage Centre, a founder of The Gaskell Society, and much more besides.

Dear Joan
What can you tell me about Old Dame's school - now Grange Cottage - on Darkness Lane - Chelford Road. I know it's mentioned in Cranford but I would like to know how long it was a school for and what other uses if any it had.
Thank you
Sue Primrose

Joan answers:

Grange Cottage, Chelford Road. This is one of Knutsford's older buildings. The rendered exterior gives no clues to the wealth of beams which have been exposed in the interior of the house. Originally this would have been an open hall, single storey building. In the course of its life, an upper floor and staircase have been added.

Old Dames school, Knutsford

It is probable that Richard Bertington was the occupant of the house in 1641. In 1850 it was a Dame School, where it is alleged, the school marm could not read or write. This was probably Jane Roylance, who gave her occupations as "Schoolmistress" when the census enumerator called, in 1841.

Old Dames school, Knutsford


Joan Leach 17.4.02