Dartmoor Explorations

A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park

DARTMOOR MISSION HALL AND THE FOGGINTOR QUARRY SCHOOL (WESLEYAN CHAPEL)

Steve Grigg

The purpose built school Foggintor School (now a car park known locally as Four Winds) on the Two Bridges – Tavistock Road provided education for the children from Foggintor and the surrounding area between 1915 and 1936. Prior to 1915, the education of the children was provided at the Dartmoor Mission Hall (1896 – 1913) and at the small Wesleyan Chapel at Foggintor Quarry (from mid 19th Century to 1896, then briefly from 1913 – 1915). This post offers a then and now view of these two locations.

MH Map
This is the location of the Dartmoor Mission Hall opposite the Yellowmead Track, which was marked as a school on the 1888-1913 OS map. In 1895, there were about 60 children in the area receiving not receiving any schooling, so it was decided that the Dartmoor Mission Hall for undenominational worship, which had been built in 1887 was to be used. The rent was £5 per year. The school at Foggintor (Wesleyan Cahapel) was closed at this time. Facts and figures for this post from Kath Brewer (The Railways, Quarries and Cottages of Foggintor) and Mary Stanbrook (Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered)
MH 1
The Mission Hall foundations today at SX56713 75009
MH 2
The Mission Hall (date unknown)
MH Combined
Combining the two pictures, which most likely are up to 100 years apart.
MH 3
Another view of the foundations – July 2020. The Mission Hall had a spring and had 3 stone and corrugated iron roofed closets at the back. It was a stone and plastered building with a slate roof. There was also a stone and corrugated iron roof wash house and shed.
MH 4
The Mission Hall could hold about 100 people.
MH 5
The Dartmoor Mission Hall became overcrowded and became considered as being unsuitable. Also doubts were cast if it could be legally as a school. It was eventually closed in 1913, but nearly two years passed before the new school at Four Winds was built.
MH 6
The last occupants were Tom Hext and his family when the hall closed in 1940. After that American soldiers stationed at Foggintor used the chapel for a brief period before it stood unused for around 27 years when Miss Kathleen Hext moved out in December 1966, after her father passed away. A quote from the Tavistock Times from 18th August 1967 stated, “The National Park have always wanted to pull it (the Mission Hall) down. It was in a deplorable condition and was no use to anyone”.
WC 1
The small chapel by Hill Cottages at Foggintor was used as a school up to 1896 and briefly again from 1913-1915, whilst the purpose built school at “Four Winds” was being built. It became a private dwelling after that. Only infants and Juniors were admitted between 1913 and 1915
WC 2
The chapel and Hill Cottages after the site was abandoned
WC 3
The site of Hill Cottages and the Wesleyan Chapel in July 2020

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