The Mount Pleasant Centre is run for the benefit of the local community by a charitable trust. The Board is made up of Trustees from Christ Church, Bradford on Avon; Bradford on Avon Town Council, and the Mount Pleasant Club.
The Mount Pleasant Club was set up as the trading arm of the Mount Pleasant Centre in order to raise funds to repair and maintain the Club and Centre's buildings, and to upgrade the facilities within them. As part of the charity the club is able to gift aid monies for the up-keep of the entire site.
The Mount Pleasant Club is a members-only club licensed under the 2005 Licensing Act. New members are always welcome, please call into the club for more details from our bar staff.
Company Registration No. 06136043 - Companies House details online. Incorporation Date: 5th May 2007. Mount Pleasant Centre Ltd (Charity No.1135873)
The building is Grade 2 Listed and sympathetically developed and maintained to provide community facilities in the form of rooms to hire and a members social club. Find out more about the Listed Building status and key features from Historic England.
The larger building housed a National School for boys and girls. Prior to this the Misses Bailward of Frankleigh House (later Kingwell Court, then Warleigh School and now a private residence) maintained a school at their own expense (paying the schoolmaster's salary), in a house in Church Lane (opposite Christ Church west door) that had been bought by parishioners for that purpose. This school was in existence from 1843 to 1848.
In 1847 Sir John Hobhouse gave the land and the building itself was paid for by Capt. S. H. Palairet of Woolley Grange. The building cost £1,800 and Capt. Palairet paid a further £200 for fittings. The school was opened in 1848. A survey of Wiltshire schools in 1859 reported the school as:
"Christ Church Parish Schools: 120 scholars mixed under master and two pupil teachers with sewing mistress, in a schoolroom and classroom."
The school would have been attended by all children of school age in the area right up to school leaving age.
The smaller building housed an Infant School; by adding this building larger numbers of children could be accommodated. The site was donated by Miss Poynder of Leigh House (now the Leigh Park Hotel) in 1878, and she also paid the building costs. The Infant School was opened on 24th July 1879 by the Ven. Archdeacon of Wiltshire. A local newspaper reported: "The design of the building is by Mr Albert Long, and is in the Gothic style. Especial attention has been paid to the sanitary arrangements of the school, by venilating shafts and a large reservoir under the building, from which by mechanical contrivance, water is supplied to the necessary appurtenances. The whole of the interior is comfortably arranged, and very nicely furnished with desks, gallery, etc."
The schools would have been managed by a small number of School Managers selected from the local community. No details of staff and class numbers are known for these early years. Wiltshire County Council became responsible for all schools in the county in 1902. Under a re-organisation of the schools in Bradford on Avon in 1927, younger children (up to 9 years old) were to attend Christ Church School, with older children attending the centrally situated Parochial School in Newtown. Christ Church School's upper age limit was extended to 10 years in 1931 and to 11 years in 1933.
A site next to the church and Christ Church schools was then acquired, and a new Junior building opened in 1957, followed by Berryfields Infant School building in 1968. Initially the old buildings continued in use as pupil numbers were high. The two schools were formally amalgamated in the summer of 1981.
With accommodation for all children on the new site, the old infant and junior buildings were sold by the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education to the new charity formed with the intention of retaining the old buildings for local community use.
When the renovation of the buildings was in progress, a number of schoolboys' caps were found in the rafters - apparently a tradition for boys leaving the school was to fling their caps up into the rafters. These caps are now housed in a display case above the bar in the smaller building.