Document referenceELEWGSEC
Level of description Fonds
TitleLewis Girls School Records
Creator(s)Lewis Girls School
BackgroundThe two Lewis schools, Lewis Girls Comprehensive and Lewis School Pengam, trace their history to the will of their founder, Edward Lewis (1691-1728) of Gilfach Fargôd. A wealthy aristocrat, Edward Lewis was nevertheless mindful of the poverty and deprivation in the lives of ordinary people.

In his will dated 1715, Edward Lewis appointed trustees to oversee the erection of a school, the employment of a schoolmaster and the education of fifteen poor boys. A school started in 1762, near the church in Gelligaer, providing what was essentially elementary education for boys. In 1853, a new school was constructed on Tir y Bont at Pengam which was now open to girls as well as boys. The girls were supervised by the headmaster's wife or sister with assistant monitors.

In 1874 the school became a grammar school. As a result there were no longer funds for educating both boys and girls. In 1876 small prizes or exhibitions began to be awarded to primary school girls to allow them to attend the school. In 1879, a sub-committee of governors was established to investigate the founding of a girls school. In 1882, the Gelligaer School Board offered the use of room at the infants school in Pontlottyn. The governors agreed to subscribe £100 pa for the maintenance of the school, which opened in 1883 with Miss Emma Edwards as headmistress and is considered the first Lewis Girls School. Forty girls attended; twenty-one having free places.

In 1886 the infants school at Pontlottyn terminated their arrangement with the girls' school. The School Board therefore needed to find new building. Two sites were considered, one at Groesfaen and another at Hengoed. A new girls school opened in 1896, and became the Gelligaer Intermediate School for Girls, but still temporarily at the Pontlottyn site. The headmistress was Miss Hannah Jones. In 1898 the Hengoed site was purchased and on 1 November 1900 Hengoed Girls County School formally opened.

1959 saw the opening of Lewis Girls Grammar School at Ystrad Mynach. In 1973, Lewis Girls Comprehensive School was formed with the merger of Lewis Girls Grammar School and Ystrad Mynach Secondary School. The site at Ystrad Mynach became the lower school and the Hengoed site the upper school.

In the 1970s a new building was constructed in order to improve the facilities. Further major building projects were completed in July 1993 and March 2007. These developments provide up-to-date facilities and enabled all students to be accommodated on one site.
DescriptionHeadmistress' annual reports; inspection returns; governors' minutes; Aamission registers; log books; report books; pupil fees register; staff registers; photographs of staff and pupils; visitors' book; school library records; school magazines; exam results; newscuttings.
ArrangementChronological within record series.
Extent22 boxes, 23 volumes, 9 bundles, 74 booklets, 4 papers
Physical characteristicsFair condition
AppraisalDuplicates and ephemera returned to depositor.
Source of AcquisitionLewis Girls School
Finding AidsA detailed catalogue is currently in preparation.
Related materialELEWSEC: Lewis School Pengam Records
Conditions of accessItems containing information on named individuals may be restricted in accordance with data protection legislation and GA policy.
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