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Our History

Thomas Barnes Primary School is set in the beautiful village of Hopwas and is nestled between the Coventry Canal, Hopwas Woods and the picturesque banks of the River Tame. It caters for pupils between the ages of 4 and 11 years of age from Tamworth and the surrounding villages. The original school was built in 1717, and is now a private home next to our current school, which was added in 1909.


Thomas Barnes was abandoned as a baby in a nearby barn. He was called 'Thomas' after the Saint and 'Barnes' after the barn. He was brought up as an orphan but educated and raised by the villagers. He went to Tamworth Grammar School in the late 17th Century and then went to London where he became a successful merchant. However, Thomas never forgot his roots and later returned to Hopwas to establish the school in gratitude for the help he was given.


The original school house has an inscription built into the brickwork which reads, ‘This house was built at the charge of Mr Thomas Barnes native of this place and a citizen of London in the year of our Lord 1717 for the dwelling of a person to teach the children of this village to read English’.


We are proud to say that today we still remember that care given to Thomas by the residents of Hopwas. Also, we also remember the combined effort it must have taken to raise an abandoned baby. As a result, this is the reason why 'caring' and 'co-operation' are two of our key school values.


If you have any photographs, documents or anecdotes about our history then please get in touch. We would especially like a portrait of Thomas if one exists. Thank you.