The Dunholme Old School

 Community Centre





I Charles Tonge Esquire of Branston in the city of Lincoln  under the authority of an Act passed in the Fifth year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria entitled “An Act to afford further Facilities for the conveyance and endowment of Sites for Schools” and the Act of the Eighth year of the Reign of Her present Majesty explaining the same Do hereby freely / and voluntarily and without valuable consideration / grant and convey unto the Right Reverend Father in God John Bishop of Lincoln, The Venerable William Brocklehurst Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry of Stow in the said County of Lincoln and the Reverend James Michaelmas Barrett Vicar of Dunholme in the said County of Lincoln and their successors.

Will that piece of land situate at Dunholme in the said County of Lincoln containing One rood  and fourteen perches as now or late in the occupation of the said Charles Tonge and bounded by other of the said Charles Tonge on the south, by the Highway on the north, by lands of George Dawson on the east and by lands of William Ross on the west / which said premises intended to be hereby conveyed are delineated in the map drawn in the margin hereof and therein coloured pink  / Together with all casements appurtenances and hereditaments corporeal and incorporeal belonging thereto or connected therewith And all my estate rights tithe and interest in or to the said premises.

To hold the same unto and to the use of the said Bishop, Archdeacon and Vicar and their successors for the purpose of the said Act and upon trust to permit the said premises and all buildings thereon erected or to be erected to be forever hereafter appropriated and used as and for a School for the education of Children and Adults or Children only of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer class in the Parish of Dunholme aforesaid and as a Residence for the teacher or teachers of the said School and for no other purpose. Which said School shall always be in National Society for promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church and shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection of the inspector or inspectors for the time being appointed or to be appointed in the conformity with the Order in Council bearing date the fourth day of August one thousand eight hundred and forty. And subject in the provisions hereinbefore mentioned it is hereby declared that the said School and the funds and endowments thereof shall at all times be under the management of and subject to such rules and regulations as the said Bishop Archdeacon and Vicar and their successors together with the said Charles Tonge or the majority of them shall from time to time direct – or appoint – And after the death of the said Charles Tonge then under the management of and subject to such rules and regulations as the said Bishop Archdeacon and Vicar and their successors or the majority of them shall from time to time direct or appoint. In Witness (whereof) the said parties to these present have hereunto set their hands and seals the eight – day of April – in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty two




Signed sealed and delivered by the within named Charles Tonge in the presence of -----------

Signed sealed and delivered by the within named John Lord Bishop of Lincoln in the presence of William Uofs  Palace Lincoln -Secretary to his Lordship

Taken and acknowledged by the said Charles Tonge one of the parties to this Deed this eighth – day of April – one thousand eight hundred and sixty two. At Branston in the County of Lincoln.  Before me  Richard Larkins A Commissioner to administer oaths in Chancery in England

Signed sealed and delivered by the within named William Brockhurse Stnehouse in the presence of –Edward Briggs Inn Keeper White Hart Ferry

Charles Tonge Esq   


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The Lord Bishop of Lincoln and others


Of a Site for School purposes


Enrolled in Her Majesty’s High Court of Chancery the twenty fifth day of July in the year of our Lord 1862 (being first duly stamped) according to the terms of the statutes made for that purpose.


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The Old School showing the main entrance through the porch. This was where the children hung there coats in the 19th century. The tower on top house the bell unfortunately long gone. This entrance isn't generaly used now as the door step stops access by certain members of the community

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A view of the Old School showing the wrought iron gates used until 2003 when the entrance was too small for emergency vehicles so were removed

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 A view of the Old School looking from the Church bridge over the beck

Renovation Work

From the very beginning it was realised that a lot of work was needed to get the building in a shape so that it could be used as a community centre.  But with shortage of funds there were many things that they were unable to do. After about eight years the enthusiasm of the original committee began to wane and with only about £400 in the bank things looked bleak.  The chipboard floor newly laid when the committee took over began to deteriorate and with more and more roof tiles being dislodged water was streaming down the walls every time it rained.

A new committee was formed in 1990 and a concerted effort was made to seek capital funding for the renovation work needed. Many organisations were approached including the European Regional Development Fund (under Objective 5b) the Lincolnshire County Council and West Lindsey District Council. There were not many around before the National Lottery began in 1994. With a lot a hard work and time we managed to start getting enough funds to begin the work. This was mainly from the Lincolnshire County Councils’ Capital Grant Scheme who awarded us many grants of 50% of the costs. Under the agreement the West Lindsey District Council also contributed a further 162/3%.

By this time we had acquired building survey and a valuation report and more importantly from 2000 we now owned the property, which helps when seeking funding. First, in 1990, was with a LCC CGS grant for the replacement of the floor, the work being done by the Probation Service, we just had to pay for the materials as their time was free.

The next was of course the roof also with an LCC CGS grant. We did though have problems with the contractor for the roof. As normal we accepted the cheapest quote and unfortunately got a very poor quality job.  They were unaware of the problems in dealing with a slate roof on an old Victorian building. It took them over a year to complete the work due mainly because they spent at first days then weeks without doing any work at all and it still wasn’t completely finished when we took legal advice and paid them off to finish the work ourselves. During their work they caused the false ceiling to collapse when all the plaster fell inside due to their hammering and some of the old slates should not have been reused and some of the guttering was missing. No scaffolding was used throughout the work and they didn’t realise that slates are graded in thickness and weight with the thickest at the bottom with the lightest at the top of the roof. When they took the old ones off no care was taken on storing them separately consequently those that they reused were all mix up resulting in gaps all over the roof when they were re-laid. After threatening legal action they did remove all the slates and re-laid them on the elevation with new Spanish slates and using what they considered the best of the old at the rear. You can see by the unevenness of the ridge tiles that no particular care was taken in doing a satisfactory job. After the false ceiling came down we decided that it would be better and probably cheaper to remove it all and opened up to the rafters boarding it over the old plaster laths.  The slate roof really needs redoing although it doesn’t leak like it did. Further grants came from the police to install dawn to dusk security lighting but we tried to cover all our costs from our own revenue.


After the Adult education had ceased to use the Annex it deteriorated very quickly as it was well past its useful life. The walls were collapsing with the window frames falling out and the felt roof had huge holes in it. The only heating had been large gas heaters but was now condemned as unsafe. So with a further LCC grant the felt roof was replaced. At that time the Lincolnshire Association of Local Councils was looking to relocate from Lincoln and thought that one of our old lecturesrooms was what they were looking for. The result was that we went about renovating the whole building bit by bit on a self-help basis. Starting with the lecture room we removed all the window frames and installed uPVC windows with additional insulation. Fitted electric heaters requiring an addition 50 amp electrical supply to be installed and decorated throughout. We did the same for the second old classroom with another 50amp electrical supply for the use of a local self-employed photographer as a studio. Then an updated kitchen was installed for them both. 

In the mean time in the main building all external doors and windows were replace with double glazed uPVC ones and a doorway open up in the committee room to give direct access to the toilets. As the trees in the front were creating damage to the walls, tarmac and sewers, and possibly to the bungalow next door they were removed and a few year later the roots were dug up and the area re-tarmacked. The tarmac area to the rear had large gaps where the expansion strips had rotted away have been cleaned out and filled with bitumen and a gravel path build to the rear of the annex after removing about 5 tons of soil which was responsible for the wooden frame of the annex rooting so quickly. Again the wooden floor in the main hall was beginning to rot from underneath cause by the rising moisture in the ground below. We therefore called in a specialist who removed all flooring and joists. A membrane was laid, the walls were damp proof injected and new joists laid with a further damp proof membrane on top before damp resistant boarding and an oak wood floor was laid.

Today renovation work still goes on but only in a piecemeal fashion as and when finances becomes available.

 We have already planned for the flat roof of the toilet block to be re-laid, the skylight replaced and the toilet ceiling to be removed and re boarded with cavity insulation.   

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The Dunholme Old School Community Centre is owned by a charitable Incorporated Organisation - The Dunholme Trust

The objects of the CIO are to further or benefit the residents of Dunholme, Lincolnshire and the neighbourhood, without Distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political, religious or other opinions by associating together the said residents and the local authorities, voluntary and other organisations in a common effort to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time occupation with the objective of improving the conditions of life for the residents.


In furtherance of these objects but not otherwise, the trustees shall have power to establish or secure the establishment of a community centre and to maintain or manage or co-operate with any statutory authority in the maintenance and management of such a centre for activities promoted by the charity in furtherance of the above objects.

The Dunholme Trust aim is to maintain and improve the facilities of the old school for the benefit of the local community



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