As early as 1768, the then-provost Hellstadius proposed the Lyrestad parish meeting to establish a schoolhouse, but it would take many years before anything was built. At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, all teaching was carried out in the parish cottage, which was opposite the church.
His Royal Majesty’s charter regarding state school education in the kingdom, dated 18 June 1842, prescribed compulsory schooling and at least one state school in each parish. The new statute certainly contributed to the long-planned schoolhouse in Lyrestad being accelerated, and in 1845 the first schoolhouse was ready, called the Church School. The building contained both a classroom and a teacher’s residence.
The first real teaching position was established in 1846 and Lars Wallgren was hired after he was allowed to participate in a church service so that the parishioners and school board members could approve his ability to sing and play the organ. The salary was primarily in kind. In 1855, two barrels of rye were added to the teacher’s salary and later that year the salary was set at 60 Riksdaler from the school fund.
In 1894, a hall was prepared on the second floor which was used as a craft school for boys in classes 3 and 4.
When the new cantor, Gösta Hultgren, was to take over as a teacher in 1926, the teacher’s residence was expanded with an extension in the eastern part of the school building, and the building thus received the exterior facade that remains to this day.
The new school was inaugurated in 1952 and until 1966 the school hall in the old Church School was used as a carpentry room.
In 1967, the municipality sold the Church School, which had then been in the service of education for 120 years.
The 21st century
Since 1967, the Church School has functioned as a private residence and undergone a series of renovations. Today, there is not much left from its days as a school, apart from the sheds in the garden where the outhouse still remains and old school desks are stored. The old wooden floors in the house are reminiscent of bygone times, and there are of course the attics too where you can still read old newspaper clippings from the 19th century, used as wallpaper.
In July 2020 we moved into the Church School and in the summer of 2021 opened Lyrsta R B&B where our guests can sleep, eat and socialise in the rooms where many children learned to read, write and count. They probably sang many hymns accompanied by the teacher’s organ music.
Information and pictures about the house are taken from the book Lyrestads kommun og församling from 1974, which is distributed by the Lyrestad parish local history society.