Wiltshire's living history Victorian school of Sevington is celebrating with a party after securing its funding.

The party, on Sunday, will trumpet the £50,000 boost that has allowed the school’s charitable trust to buy the building.

Each year up to 3,000 youngsters visit it to find out what life was like in the Victorian era under the steely gaze of Miss Squires, who taught there for almost 60 years.

Dinah Starkey, a trus-tee for the school, said the party, which starts at 2pm, was to thank supporters who had made the purchase possible and for interested members of the public.

She said: “We are expecting plenty of friends and well wishers. We will be having six of our Miss Squires, all in Victorian costume. We have two of them every day, but this time we are hoping they will all be there.

“Anyone who comes in Victorian costume will get a free tea. If they’re ladies they need a long skirt, something which is seemly and correct, a shirt with a high collar and preferably a hat. If they’re gentlemen, a top hat would be ideal.”

The Grittleton school has survived virtually untouched since it closed 100 years ago.

It was built by Joseph Neeld, who opened it in 1849, and it remained in the Neeld family who rented it out to the Sevington School charitable trust until they were able to purchase it.

The funding, donated by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wiltshire Council’s Chippenham Area Board and Hills waste company, means the school is now open to the public.

It is available to visit on Sundays, from 2pm to 5pm, between April and September. More volunteers are needed to offer their skills and expertise.

Mrs Starkey said: “It’s been a great success.

“We are getting all sorts of people, from those who have lived in the area for 30 years and have never set foot in the school, to people from America, Sweden and all over the world.

“We are looking for people to help in the garden, people to help with costume design, and we’re especially looking for someone to help man our website and social media.

“We work very hard at it, we try to make sure everyone finds something they enjoy and like.

“We are very friendly – it’s a good way of making friends and meeting people.”

For more information, visit www.sevingtonvictor ianschool.co.uk or email vols4sevington@aol.com