About Us - History and Traditions

The name 'Polehampton' comes from Edward Polehampton who was the school’s founder. He bequeathed money to a trust in 1772 to erect a school and clothe and educate ten poor boys of Twyford. Legend has it that around 1666 he was taken in and cared for as a sick boy by the landlord of the Rose and Crown in Twyford. When he was fit again he travelled to London and eventually made his fortune as a well-known painter of portraits and coaches. He was also a teacher of painting, printseller and Captain of Trained bands. By his own wish he was buried at Hurst Church on the 7th July, 1722.

The Trust was re-established by Act of Parliament in 1885, at which time the Polehampton Boys’ School was rebuilt in the High Street opposite Chiswick House, which was originally the Rose and Crown. This was used until December 1964, when the present Polehampton Church of England Junior School for both boys and girls, built by Berkshire County Council, was opened. Previously, the younger children and girls had been educated at the current Polehampton Infants’ School.

The school was built on a large open site and, as the population of Twyford and Ruscombe increased, it was eventually necessary to erect temporary classrooms around the playground until eventually The Colleton Primary School was built to serve the southern half of the village.

Today, the Polehampton Trust administers money left in the will of Edward Polehampton to be used for educational and charitable purposes in the villages of Twyford and Ruscombe. It continues to support local schools with generous financial contributions towards the purchase of educational equipment.

The David George Field Study Trust
Registered Charity Number 309033
In 1972, as Headmaster of Polehampton Junior School, David George bought Oakdale Field Study Centre in Ruardean, Gloucestershire.

The building, originally a miner's cottage, was renovated and extended to enable up to 18 children to enjoy a field trip to study a variety of historical, scientific, geographical and natural topics and to learn a bit about themselves. Away from home for the first time for many, Oakdale provided a growing up experience and a chance for teachers to see a completely different side to their pupils, and vice-versa. 

Nature walks in the forest, visits to bird reserves, stone quarries and underground visits to coal mines were but a few of the experiences. Castles of the Welsh borderland, local animal markets, railways and Brunel's steamships, vied along with the Jubilee Maze ,Cardiff Welsh Folk Museum and the Brecon Beacons for the most popular and most visited venues.

Over the thirty years that the building was owned by Polehampton Junior School Field Study Trust, nearly 2000 children enjoyed the experience of staying there. The first visits took place in the summer of 1972 and the last in the Autumn of 2000. Such experiences do not fade away, they are impressed into memory banks to be revisited at leisure for the rest of your life.

The upkeep of the house over the years relied on staff and parents who gave their time freely to maintain the property, local residents also kept an eye on the property for the school and provided invaluable assistance. Unfortunately, with changing times, the house could not continue to be run as it was and became less of an asset; a decision was therefore made for the house to be sold. The David George Field Study Trust was set up to manage the proceeds generated from the sale of Oakdale. The Trustees ensure that, through careful investment, Polehampton Junior School pupils  continue to benefit from all the new experiences provided by field trips, through allocating funds from the ongoing interest generated from the investment. Our children can now enjoy and learn from activities funded by these subsidies every year.

For more details on the operation of this charity, please see their entry on the Charity Commission Website.

The Polehampton Charity
Registered Charity Number 1072631

Objectives and activities
The objects of the charity are to apply the yearly income, subject to the payment of management expenses, in the relief of persons who are in need, hardship or distress, and the promotion of education of persons both of which are resident in the former ecclesiastical parishes of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford and St James the Great, Ruscombe. The yearly income is composed principally of income from investments and property rental income.

The charity invites applications for financial assistance from persons resident in the parishes of Twyford and Ruscombe or from charitable and other organisations acting for the benefit of such persons. 

Polehampton C of E Junior School is very grateful to The Polehampton Charity for the financial assistance they provide for equipment and reference books. The other local schools also receive donations for equipment and reference books.

For more details on the operation of this charity, please see their entry on the Charity Commission Website.

They also have their own website at: www.thepolehamptoncharity.co.uk




Edward Polehampton

David George Field Study Trust Logo