School & Education

Around the same time that the chapel was built, to further Mrs Tuckfield's activities in the field of education, a small school was built near the chapel in the lane opposite.  Here Mr Marriott, assisted by a school master, trained the young students who were themselve to become teachers.  After three years Mr Marriott left, to be succeeded by the Rev. Sir Frederick Shelley, who lived with the students at Priestcott, now part of the convent.  A visitor to the school on several occasions was Sir Thomas Dyke Acland who was much concerned at the methods of teach training at that time and in disagreement with Parliamentary views on the subject.  He considered the methords adopted in both Scotland and Germany preferable to anything officially provided in this country, but was much impressed by Mrs Tuckfield's regime.  Perhaps he was influenced by the fact that both his wives were nieces of Mrs Tuckfield, but he wrote

"I cannot reduse myseld the pleasure of naming an instruction on the hill at Posbury near Crediton in sole charge of that remarkable lady Mrs Tuckfield from whose ardent zeal for the training of the deaf and dumb and of school masters for the poor, many receive their first impressions of a more living method of teaching than was previously current"

Sir Thomas was instrumental in setting up the Exeter Diocesan education committee, the first in the country, in 1838.  By 1840 he had persuaded it to establish a training college for teachers in Cathedral Close.  It was opened on St Luke's day in that year and dedicated to St Luke.  Thus the training school for Posbury closed and the building for some years was a Sunday School, then a store and shed.  When in the 1920's the chapel walled showed signed of instability some of the stones were used to build the buttresses.