Welcome to the web site for Stonehouse History Group
- promoting interest in the History of Stonehouse & the locality.
The Kimmins family ran the Ladies College, Ryeford which closed in 1927 and Ryeford Hall was then leased by Wycliffe in 1928 for the new Junior/Prep School.
The Grove estate was bought, from the Kimmins family, in 1931. This comprised the house and all the land, on the north of the main road, which is now the Prep School playing field. Mervyn and Dorothy Sibly boarded a dozen boys there in the late 1930s. (I originally taught in the drawing room, but then moved into the dining room as we expanded the classes. This room still had the serving hatch and a raised dais - we used it as a stage for nativity plays.)
The Kimmins family is connected to Kimmins Mill (In Sainsbury's carpark) and one of the daughters married a Mr Timpson (of the Timpson Shoe Shops family). Their son Michael was educated at Wycliffe and later became Headmaster of the Junior (Prep) School. (He appointed me as Head of Pre-Prep - a new venture at The Grove - in 1983.)
It is all very interesting. I love the bit about diet in the prospectus "a cow is kept", also the curriculum includes "darning and mending" but no mention of Science!
Ryeford Hall Prospectus Circa 1901