Early records of Schools in Bradford on Avon
(1) Pam Slocombe from the Wiltshire Building Record has carried ou a thorough survey of building .Her report shows that it was built c.1600 and extended a further 6 feet nearer no 5 St. Margaret's Street. The present frontage was altered in 1690 and 1850. Her theory is that it was a non domestic building at this time and may probably have been a School. In the report she says"If the original building was a house, it had a heated kitchen and staircase at the S end, with perhaps a cross passage and a large hall. However, it is not convincing as a house plan and I wonder if it was a public building, perhaps a school. There are similarities with the 1651 Jenner's School at Cricklade and the 1668 schoolroom at the Hungerford Almshouses, Corsham. The only hint that Bradford had a school somewhere in the 17th century comes from a letter of inquiry sent in 1672 to a school in the town.
the Jackson Collection, held by the Society of Geneology which refers to a grant of rents by Edward Norrton(SAL/MS/817/2) to found a grammar School in 1584.
The earliest record of any formal teaching in the town goes back to 1524, to the chantry of Thomas Horton which embodied a small school, and we know that a quarter century later, in 1549, William Furbner, the chantry priest, was still maintaining this free school for instruction in religious doctrine and for the training of choristers. By 1559, however, it had gone. The grants to the Bradford school and a similar school in Trowbridge were transferred in that year to Salisbury, that town being more worthy of the money as "these upland towns [Bradford and Trowbridge] have small resort of gentlemen and merchants". We also know that some sort of school existed in Bradford about a hundred years later because in 1672 Christopher Wase sent a letter of enquiry to 13 schools that he had identified as existing in the county - in Calne, Corsham, Cricklade, Crudwell, Downton, Heytesbury, Lavington, Marlborough, Mere, Salisbury, Trowbridge, and Westport (Malmesbury) - and in Bradford. All record of it has now disappeared, and its existence was obviously short-lived.