We conclude that T J Knowlys became the next owner of Carr Garth after John Taylor Wilson and turned it into a school, Clearly in its previous size it was far too small and he therefore extended it to become the building we have today. Eileen Dent estimates the school opened c.1840 and lasted for at least 50 years. An 1848 Ordnance Survey map for Heysham confirms that it had become a very much bigger building than it was pre-1838. This is also in line with what English Heritage write in their listing for the building. The full extract from the Directory can be seen here. It shows the name of the first schoolmaster there, James Masheter. The other schoolmaster listed is John Foxcroft of the Parish School in School Road.
By the end of the century the school would appear to have closed. There is no mention of it in the section on Heysham of Kelly’s 1905 Directory of Lancashire, although that section does record two public elementary schools (St Peter’s and Sandylands).
Left is the well known image of one of Heysham’s water pumps. Carr Garth is behind the wall on the extreme left of the picture. David Flaxington takes us further back into the history of the house is his carefully crafted account in Images of Engand: Heysham. He states that it was once a small coaching house for horses to rest on their way from the Dock at Sunderland Point to various destinations further up or across the Bay. He also tells us that many of the local gentry’s children were pupils at the school including, possibly James Williamson, later Lord Ashton, remembered chiefly for his Park and Monumernt in Lancaster. However this is based solely on the evidence that the initials ‘J.W. 1854’ are scratched on a kitchen window.
For David’s full account click here.
In Bulmer’s Directory of Lancashire (1913) Robert Clarke is listed as living at Carr Garth but during World War I it was a convalescent home for officers, other ranks being at Heysham Rectory Auxiliary Hospital. After the war it was acquired by the Church of England as a retirement home for clergy and from 1950 Alice and Norman Walkington operated it as a guest house followed by their daughter and son-in-law.