Cartmel Fell is a long parish with no nucleus. One side of the fell goes down to the shores of Windermere and the other to the river Winster, with Gummers How rising at the highest point.

As a result, children had to walk to school a distance of three or four miles each way from the farms at the extremities of the parish.

The township had its first custom built, one-roomed school in 1871. It was solidly built in stone and cost £271. Prior to that, an enclosed pew in the nearby church had sufficed for a school room, the children being taught by the curate or “reader”.

This was a man who was licensed to hold services but not administer the sacraments. In those days, the curate lived as a lodger in a neighbouring farmhouse, but quite often there was nobody at all to teach.

The trouble with the new school was that nowhere was provided for a master to live and therefore it was difficult to attract one.

Eventually, in 1877, a local landowner, F.A. Argles, donated some land and public subscription raised £360.

A new house was built called Shanty Cottage after the nearby beck, and John White was the first schoolmaster to move in.

He was followed in 1901 by James Cragghill and his wife, who taught the girls needlework and cookery.

Fortunately for posterity, Mr Cragghill was a keen photographer in collaboration with the curate, Thomas Price.

They recorded everyday life and death on the fell, including portraits of dead infants. There was even trick photography, where the same people appeared on both sides of the picnic spread.

By the beginning of the First World War, the school was bursting at the seams and a new classroom was added for the infants and a second teacher appointed.

The school log-books survive and create a window into the daily activities - from bee-keeping, attendance and disorder, to rules for egg-collecting.

During the Second World War, numbers swelled with evacuees, one of whom was thewell-known actor Derek Nimmo.

But by the 1960s, only 20 children remained and the school closed its doors in 1971.