How did the road get its name?
School Lane is so-called because of the school (now called Badsey First School) which was built on the road in 1895. Prior to that it had different names. At the time of the Badsey Enclosure, this road was referred to as the Wickhamford Road by the Commissioners, but it is shown on the map as Gibbs Lane. The name of Gibbs Lane came from the Gibbs family who owned what is now The Wheatsheaf Inn (it was not an inn in those days, but was where Nathan Gibbs operated a bakery business until his death in 1825) and all the land on the north side of the lane. During most of the 19th century it was called Bakers Lane in census returns; in 1851, Edward Cook was listed as a baker and grocer. It was still called Bakers Lane in 1901, even though the school had been erected by then. On the Ordnance Survey map of 1923, the road is named as Barker’s Lane (presumably a mistake for Bakers Lane), but by 1938 it was known by its present name of School Lane.
When did housing development begin?
Development began with The Bell Inn on the north side, probably in the 18th century. During the 19th century, cottages were erected on the south side, but were demolished in the 20th century. At the end of the 19th century, the school and schoolmaster’s house was built at the other end of the lane on the south side. Further development did not take place until the 20th century. On the north side, two pairs of semi-detached houses were built in the 1930s and two detached houses were built in the 1970s. The Bell Inn closed down in the late 1960s and was converted solely into residential accommodation. On the south side, two cottages were erected in about 1867 and demolished a hundred years later. The land nearest the High Street was owned by Arthur Jones who lived in The Stone House, High Street. In the 1940s, he rented the yard to John Sutton, an Evesham builder. He used this as his base until 1956 when he bought his own land off Old Post Office Lane. The land was sold and houses were built in the 1970s.
The houses are numbered 1-17, with odd numbers on the north side and even numbers on the south side. There is a number 13 but no 14 or 16.
19th and early 20th century auctions and ownership
At the time of the Badsey Enclosure, all the land on the north side was owned by John Gibbs and all the land on the south side by the Reverend Thomas Williams.