This book is a study of all the known schools in the six counties of the West of England, from the Conquest to the Reformation. Most are described for the very first time or in greater detail than ever before. 120 schools are included: those of principal cities, smaller towns and villages, the new endowed schools and chantry schools of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and the educational institutions of the monasteries and religious houses.
The account of each school covers (as far as possible) its origins, constitution, endowment and history up to the middle of the sixteenth century. Biographies are included of more than 100 founders, benefactors and schoolmasters. A full introduction explains the background of medieval school history and draws attention to points of special interest in the West of England. There are also ten maps and genealogies.
The study covers a wide range of topics. As well as making a valuable contribution to the history of education, it casts a new light on the history of the Church and of lay society in the Middle Ages. Medieval people emerge as far more involved with education and learning than is generally thought. There is much in the text of interest to local historians concerned with local towns and villages.