In 1876 The Church
Rambler records that 'Before the.Reformation, Stoke was a chapelry to Bradford
and was served by itinerant priests who stayed at the priest's house,which was
pulled down a quarter of a century since when thenational schools were built.
' The house is listed in the church inventory of 1608 and recorded as Vicarial
Glebe on the 1841 tithe map.
In 1844 the land was conveyed in trust for a Church of England school, in union
with the National Society, which was built in 1845 with the aid of a Treasury
grant of £75.The school had a shaky start for, in 1859, it was recordedthat
it had re-opened three years before. In spite of the fact that many children of
dissenters in Limpley Stoke attended the school at Freshford, there were 20 to
30 children in attendance in 1859, an average attendance of 51 in 1893 (which
reduced to 39 in 1910) and a mere handful in 1930.
The school closed in 1933. The building and land returned to the Diocese, with
the vicar and churchwardens as trustees of the Foundation. The building was converted
for use as a church hall and the following letting charges (not including heating
and lighting) agreed: political meetings 10s 6d, meetings lasting two hours 3s
6d, three to four hours 5s, late evening 7s 6d, Parish Council meetings 2s 6d,
gas included. In 1960 the Salisbury Diocesan Council of Education persuaded St
Mary's Parochial Church Council to buy the property and this was completed in
November 1961. It was subsequently leased to the village for use as the Village
Hall in 1974. In July 1997, a new cross carved from stone given by the Bath Stone
Mine was blessed by the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
The site of the school is shown as a smaller building (1749) on the 1841 tithe
map and described as the Vicarage House.It was being rented by the long-standing
parish clerk, George Forster, who was 35 at the time. He was a house and land
agent and no doubt related to Richard Forster of Bath who rented out the five
houses opposite known as Forster's Buildings.