Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: July 14, 2017.
Webpage updated: July 14, 2017




Moorfield School for Girls was a private school which occupied Moorfield and Seymour Houses in Seymour Road, Mannamead, Plymouth.  The buildings were joined by a connecting door.  The School catered for the daughters of officers in the Army and Navy and of those in the professional classes.

The School was founded by Mrs Catherine Rattenbury at number 20 North Street, Plymouth.  In March 1850 the School moved directly across North Street to larger premises at number 7, known as Clarendon House, on the corner with Ham Street.  At the time of the census in 1851 she and her husband, Mr James Wood Rattenbury, had five boarding pupils in addition to their own three daughters, Miss Emma Rattenbury, Miss Fanny Louisa Rattenbury, and Miss Julia Maryann Rattenbury.  There was also an infant daughter, Miss Clara Alberta Rattenbury, and a son, 9-years-old Master James Edwin Rattenbury, but he was presumably at school elsewhere.  The non-family pupils were: Miss Ragina Rowe; Miss Jane Roberts; Miss Elizabeth Hill; Miss Emma Williams; and Miss Mary Tozer.  There were also one teacher, Miss Trypharia Ellis, and two servants, Miss Susan Redstone and Miss Ann Hurnell, both from Kingsbridge.

Sometime afterwards the School was transferred to a property at Hender's Corner, Mannamead, and then to Thorn Park Villas, also at Mannamead.   Miss Julia Rattenbury was in charge at that time.

In 1902 a Miss Dallas took charge of the School and she moved it to a house called "Moorfield" on the north side of Seymour Road, Mannamead, Plymouth.  The name thus dates from that time.  Late a property called "Seymour", in Seymour Avenue, was also acquired.

When Miss Dalllas retired in 1928 the School was taken over by Miss A M Bailey BA and Miss Grace Pearce Pocock.  Ten years later Miss Bailey retired and was replaced by Grace's sister, Miss Eleanor Pocock.

Grace was born in the Hampstead district of London on October 30th 1884.  Eleanor was born in the Hendon district of London on April 11th 1895.  Their parents were Mr Charles W and Mrs Mary E Pocock.  He was a stockbroker's clerk.  There were two other children in 1891: Miss Mary Pocock, aged 8 years and Master Charles A P Pocock, aged 3.  They were evidently well off as they had three servants, a nurse, a cook and a housemaid.

When the Second World War started the School buildings were taken over and used as a training establishment for the Women's Royal Naval Service.  The School moved to a house called "Chatsworth" for the duration but numbers declined steeply and at the start of the 1941 school year in there were only 21 pupils.  The School also ceased to take boarding pupils from this time onwards and became a day school only.  In 1945 the School returned to "Seymour" and to the adjacent "Allerton".

Miss Grace Pearce Pocock died in 1969 and Miss Eleanor Pocock in 1970.  Both are buried at Whitchurch Cemetery, Tavistock.