Olde School to the Almshouses (Bradley Road)

The distinctive brick building opposite the end of Temple End Road is The Olde School. It was established in 1614 by Sir Stephen Soame (at one time Lord Mayor of London) as a free school for the sons of local farmers who were to be taught English, Latin and Ciphering (that is, arithmetic) and then sent on if possible to Cambridge or Oxford. The ground floor, which was the schoolroom, is cunningly designed so that it was not possible to see out of the windows while sitting down! The garden has a wonderful display of aconites and snowdrops early in the year.

Crossing French’s Bridge, built in Victorian times to replace a ford, you pass various attractive cottages and reach the modern C.E.V.C. school, opened in 1967. On the left behind the belt of trees lies Little Thurlow Hall, dating from 1847 and replacing a much older sixteenth century building which burnt down in 1809. It is now home to Edmund and Anne Vestey.

On the right are some beautiful cottage gardens and then a brick building at right angles to the road, once the police house. Pound Green has the village sign, featuring a collage of buildings in the village, and some fine horse chestnuts, limes and a copper beech which was planted in 1937 to celebrate the coronation of King George VI.


Continue straight on past a double-jettied cottage which was the old forge house (the forge being where the bus shelter now is). Up the hill are the Almshouses, built in 1618 by Sir Stephen Soame, with the same coat of arms as the Olde School featuring a hooded falcon. These almshouses were originally for ‘eight single poor persons of 64 years of honest life and conversation’. The almsfolk were given a pension of fourteen old pence a week and eight faggots of wood a year. The buildings are now a private house.