Quantock LodgeEdit profile
Quantock Lodge is a green-grey nineteenth-century mansion built by Henry Clutton from Cockercombe tuff and is located near the hamlet of Aley, near the village of Over Stowey in the English county of Somerset. It was the family home of Henry Labouchere, 1st Baron Taunton, and in the 1960s was purchased by David Peaster, the headmaster of Cotham High School in Bristol. The first three pupils came from Cotham High School and they were Richard Williams, Laurie Booth and Tony Budget. Laurie wrote this about his first day at the school: "I was set down from my father's car at the age of fourteen; and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life at Quantock began. The summer grass, amongst which I stood, was taller than I was, and I wept. I had never been so close to grass before and so alone. The School towered above me and all around me, each turret tattooed with tiger-skins of sunlight. It was knife-edged, dark, and a wicked green, I was lost and didn't know where to move. Never to be forgotten, that first long day of a Quantock summer. Never to be forgotten, or ever tasted again..." Peaster ran both schools with Cotham High School closing in 1966, and Quantock had a boys-only intake, mainly composed of the sons of diplomats and armed services personnel. The 1960s and early 1970s saw a high point for the school, with it being described as 'The Gordonstoun of the West'. In 1986 Quantock School went co-educational, but soon after the turn of the 1990s was in gradual decline, due in the main to the end of the Cold War and the closing of a number of overseas service bases, which in turn led to a drying up of new pupils. The return of the colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997 also had a serious impact on the school population. In 1998, Quantock School closed. Following the death of David Peaster in 2000, the school reverted to its former name of Quantock Lodge, and was remarketed by Peaster's widow Jane as a centre for recreation and banqueting. It is also a recognised youth summer camp centre.