Wilton House, 33 High Street, has been the home of at least three schools.
The first school (<1661):
The deeds of Wilton House include a 17th century Will in which it mentioned that Wilton House was in the ownership of Robert Curtis when he died on 1661. It states that he was "yeoman and teacher", and that part of the dwelling was a "school house".
- Wilton House, 33 High Street
- This advert in the Parish Magazine of 1871, describes Wilton House as an "Establishment for Young Ladies, conducted by Miss Turner. The course of instruction comprises the usual branches of a sound and polite English Education, with Music, Singing, Drawing and Modern Languages". An identical advert appears in 1873, and the entry in the 1873 Kelly Directory states "Mrs Elizabeth Turner, ladies boarding school, High Street".
- Faulknor Square, c.1910
The second school (c1850-c1891):
Much later, in 1850, an entry in Slater's Directory states that Sarah Susan Edwards ran a boarding school in "Wilton House". It is interesting to note that this is the first written reference to the name "Wilton". The 1851 census gives her age as 30 years, and the census described her as "schoolmistress, with 7 pupils".
In 1854, it was Miss Jolly who was running the school.
By the 1861 census, Elizabeth Lewis (aged 35 years) was schoolmistress, with 6 boarders. The Commoners List makes clear that Miss Lewis was only the occupant of the property – it was owned by the Trustees of Mrs. Hogsflesh.
The 1869 Post office directory states that the "ladies boarding school" was being run by Miss Elizabeth Turner, whose name is included in the census return for 1871, describing it as a "Teaching Day & Boarding School".
The 1871 and 1881 censuses appears to show that Miss E. Turner was in 106 High Street – just across the road from Wilton House.
By 1891 Miss Turner had moved the school from Wilton House to one of the houses in Faulknor Square, off Charnham Street. The Kelly Directory describes her as running a "Ladies Boarding School" there.
The third school (c1891-c1922):
However, it appears that this was not the end of schooling at Wilton House. In the 1896 Commoners List, Mrs. Ann Alexander was recorded as owner and occupier, and around this time (dates unclear at present) her daughters, Martha and Mary Alexander ran a Dame School there, possibly until they sold Wilton House to Mr James Whishaw in 1922.