Former Bishton School

button-theme-crimeFormer Bishton School, near Newport

The village hall in Bishton was built in 1878 as a school. A School Board, formed in 1875, raised £800 for construction of the school, which had space for 32 children. For many years, the children of Bishton, and presumably their parents, considered attendance as optional!

In 1895 Henry Edsor, the school’s headmaster, was sentenced to three months in prison with hard labour after he admitted trying to defraud the People’s Co-operative Bank. He had recently been appointed by the Bishton School Board and said he needed a loan to help pay bills incurred in relocating from Cornwall. He forged the signatures of two Bishton men, including School Board member Noah Davies, to obtain £10 6s from the bank.

Three of the school’s former pupils were killed in the First World War. You can read their details below. Ian Long, a community councillor, researched their stories and arranged for a plaque in memory of the men to be erected in the village hall in 2014.

The building became the village hall after the school closed in 1954.

The village’s name means “Bishop’s farm” and was recorded in 1504 as Bishopiston. The manor here was held by the bishops of Llandaf until 1650. In 1290 the name was written as Bishton manor of Lankaderwader, a reference to Llangadwaladr – the church of St Cadwaladr. The church is c.200 metres west of the village hall.

With thanks to Ian Long and Shaun McGuire, and to Richard Morgan of the Welsh Place-Name Society for place-name information

Post code: NP18 2EA    View Location Map


FOOTNOTES: Bishton’s First World War dead

George James, Gunner 189304. Died 1/11/1918 aged 22. George’s father was railway platelayer John James. His mother was called Sarah. He joined the Royal Engineers in 1915 and was serving with the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery when he was killed in France, 10 days before the end of the war.

Edgar Morgan, Private 228260. Died 20/4/1918 aged 23. Edgar was born in Bishton. His father George was a mason. His mother was called Eliza. The family lived in a property now known as White House. School records show that Edgar was often absent and attended just “40 times a year”. He worked as a farm labourer before joining the Monmouthshire Regiment. He was later transferred to the Cheshire Regiment.

John Francis Williams, Rifleman 373091. Died 30/10/1917 aged 20. He was born in Newport to Fanny Williams and brought up by relatives who lived at Lower House, Bishton. Francis worked as a railway clerk and Post Office clerk before joining the London Regiment (Post Office Rifles). He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.