The Original Village School
The first reference to a school in the village was in 1580 but until the middle of the 19th century the only education available was the Sunday School, since Sunday was the only day of the week that children were not working. Reading, writing and arithmetic were taught, besides the basics of the Christian religion. For more details, see David Pine’s Hardwick through the Ages. Following the Education Act of 1870, which made weekday schooling compulsory for children up to the age of 12, a school building was constructed in 1871 near the church. It opened on 6 January 1872, the headmistress being Miss Maria Simmons. This church-owned village school was closed on 26 July 1969 and for the next 10 years Hardwick children attended primary school in Comberton. The building was used as a village hall for a time, but is now a private residence. When the village expanded with the development of the Limes Estate, a new Community Primary School was established to serve the enlarged population. It opened in September 1979, with Mr Michael Tildesley as headteacher, and 31 children on the roll; it has since been extended (twice) as the village continued to grow.