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This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.



Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Connecting Collections – St John’s Store

St John's Museum Store
St. John’s Store is home to a wide variety of objects including furniture, retired models and spa equipment. This three part series will look at the history of the building, the spa related objects and the furniture collection.

Part 1 - About the Building

In 2006, Bath and North East Somerset Council took over a third of the building to house its large social history collection and create a spacious, accessible store. The collection is primarily made up of large pieces of historic furniture and some weird and wonderful spa treatment equipment. The building is currently shared with Mobile Libraries, Weston Day Centre, and acts as Trading Standards stationary store. Before its modern use, the building served as St John the Evangelist School. The school was built in 1875 and sits in the Parish of Weston. It was built as part of the movement towards public education, which first began in the previous century with the creation of Sunday schools.

Prior to 1800, there were very few schools. Most of those that existed were run by the church, for the church, stressing religious education. In 1814, compulsory apprenticeship by indenture was abolished. By 1831, Sunday school in Great Britain was ministering weekly to 1,250,000 children, approximately 25% of the population.

The Elementary Education Act of 1870 (The Forster Act) was a milestone in the British school education system. The act made it compulsory to provide education for children between the ages of 5 and 10. An extension to the Elementary Education Act in 1880 insisted on compulsory attendance for children aged from 5–10 years. The Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act 1893 raised the minimum leaving age to 11. Later the same year, the act was extended to cover blind and deaf children. This act was amended in 1899 to raise the school leaving age up to 12 years.

Unfortunately, our knowledge of the history of St John’s school is limited. We know it closed in the 1970’s but could you help? Do you know anything about St John’s School?

We are looking for information, if you know of anyone who used to go to school here or who might know anything more about the building, please leave a comment or contact us on 01225 477779; susan_fox@bathnes.gov.uk

The store is open to the public several times a year. The next store open day is Saturday 9th June 2012 from 11am until 3pm, so please do come along and visit us – for more information and directions please follow this link http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/whats_on/events/behind_the_scenes_tours.aspx  or check out our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/296443413763889/

Helen Harman - Collections Assistant

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