The Wooden Walls of Old England
Apart from St Columba's church, the village pub is the oldest building in Collingtree. It is reputed to be over 600 years old although documentary evidence only begins in 1615 when it is first licensed as an alehouse called 'The Ship'.
In 1645, on the eve of the Battle of Naseby, twelve of Cromwell's officers are said to have taken over the pub and they 'drank it dry'. In 1657 there is a recorded trial when a villager was accused of using 'charming and sorcery to cure a tooth' within the pub.
The present name was given to the pub in 1847 as a tribute to the exploits of the Royal Navy in defeating the French.The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar is 21st October 2015.
The Wooden Walls of Old England is the sole remaining thatched building in Collingtree and is a Grade 2 listed building within the Conservation Area. For many decades the pub was tied to the Phipps Brewery but now, after several changes of ownership, it is part of the Marston's Brewery chain.
The Village Room
When Pickering Phipps died at the early age of 63, his family provided the money to build a splendid village meeting place in his memory.
Opened in 1896 as the 'Reading Room', it provided villagers with somewhere to gather, learn and socialise and it remains the only public meeting place in Collingtree. It is used for every possible purpose be it as a Polling Station or Pantomime. It has a fitted stage with curtains, lighting and sound system; a good kitchen with crockery, cutlery, tables and chairs (to seat 75) and all for hire. Catering and bar facilities can be arranged with the Wooden Walls pub across the road.
The Village School
Yet another link with Pickering Phipps was the building of a village primary school in 1861 - paid for by Phipps.
Before this there had been a small Dame School run by a Miss Labrum who taught the Lord's Prayer, the Catechism, good manners and lace making.She herself could neither read nor write.
In 1970 there were only 41 pupils at the primary school, but as the numbers grew mobile classrooms were added and finally, a new larger school was built on what had been the South Lawn of 'The Grange' mansion - now demolished.
Despite all the changes, the original Victorian school with its distinctive bell tower, still remains in use as part of the new large modern school which now has around 170 pupils.
For information about St Columba's Church of England C.E.V.A.Primary School, contact the School Secretary Andie Sapsford on 01604 761469 Email: 'firstname.lastname@example.org'