Sherborne School
Sherborne School is a British independent school for boys, located in the town of Sherborne in north-west Dorset, England. It is one of the original member schools of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The Good Schools Guide called the school a "Strong, traditional public school in delightful setting," adding that it provides "An invigorating, intellectually sound and multi-faceted environment'. However, it warns that the school is "not always gentle."

Some historians have speculated that a school must have existed in Sherborne since the 3rd century A.D.; however, there is no evidential basis for this. The school's definite origins date back to the eighth century, when a tradition of education in Sherborne was begun by St Aldhelm. According to legend, Alfred the Great was one of the school's early pupils. The school was then linked with the Benedictine Abbey in the town. The earliest Master known about was Thomas Copeland in 1437. After the Dissolution of the monasteries, Edward VI refounded the School in 1550 as King Edward's school, a free grammar school for local boys. The present School, which has gone through various changes of fortune since the Protestant Reformation (and no doubt before), stands on land which once belonged to the Monastery. The Library, Chapel and Headmaster's rooms, which adjoin the Abbey Church, are modifications of its original monastic buildings. The school stood in for Brookfield School in the 1969 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips (the original 1939 version of the story was filmed at Repton School in Derbyshire), and many boys served as extras in the production. Alec Waugh's Fernhurst in The Loom of Youth is undoubtedly drawn from the author's experiences at Sherborne in the early 1900's. In 2005 Sherborne School was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents. Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling three million pounds into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared. However, Mrs Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had always been exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business, were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with each other, and that they were unaware of the change to the law (on which they had not been consulted). She wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general, saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the consumer. They are schools that have quite openly continued to follow a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had changed."

Qatar Branch
In March 2009, it was announced that a replica of the school would be built in Doha, Qatar, with the first academic year starting in September 2009 and the development being completed by 2012.


Sherborne School is composed of 8 houses, where the pupils (invariably referred to as 'boys') live and work when not in lessons. The names of the houses, and their distinctive letter, used in certain circumstances as an abbreviation are:
  • School House (a) (location: Abbey Road)
  • Abbey House (b) (location: Abbey Road)
  • The Green (c) (location: Hospital Lane)
  • Harper House (d) (location: Hound Street)
  • Wallace House (e) (formerly Elmdene, location: South Street)
  • Abbeylands (f) (location: Abbey Road)
  • Lyon House (g) (location: Richmond Road)
  • The Digby (m) (location: Digby Road)
Until 1999 there was another house, Westcott (h) (location: Horsecastles Lane). There was also an Oxbridge candidates house on Abbey Road called Cutlers. These houses also compete against each other in various sporting, educational and musical competitions. There is also a staff house known as Bow House.


The school's cricket ground is used by the school cricket team. The ground was first used in 1870, when Sherborne School played Clifton College. The ground is also one of the venues used by Dorset for their home fixtures. Dorset played their first match on the ground in the 1902 Minor Counties Championship against Devon. From 1902 to 1997, the ground played host to 69 Minor Counties Championship matches, with the final Championship match involving Dorset coming in 1997 when they played Herefordshire. In addition, the ground has hosted 13 MCCA Knockout Trophy matches, the last of which was in 2008, when Dorset played Buckinghamshire. The ground has also played host to a single List-A match, when Dorset played Bedfordshire in the 1968 Gillette Cup.

School song ("Carmen Scirburnesise")
Olim fuit monachorum Schola nostra sedes; Puer regius illorum Fecit nos heredes; Hoc in posteros amoris Grande dedit signum; Sonet ergo Fundatoris Nomen laude dignum; Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus! Vivat! Ubi preces iterabant Senes cucullati, Tecta stant ut olim stabant, Mores quam mutati! Pro silentio senili Fit ubique iocus; Ludo semper puerili Totus fervet locus. Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus! Vivat! Vivat! Vivat! Sanam mentem, corpus sanum Nobis alunt rura; Habilem dat pila manum, Durat follis crura; Pisces, ubi sinit aestas, Aemulamur nando; Philomelae voces maestas Vincimus cantando. Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus! Vivat! Vivat! Vivat! Studiorum vice tali Roborantur mores; Musa cultu liberali Spinis miscet flores. Semen insecuta seges Messes reddit certas; Legibus finita leges Temperat libertas. Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus! Vivat! Vivat! Vivat! Ergo dum verenda mole Cana perstat aedes, Dum recenti gaudet prole Monachorum sedes, Stimulet certamen ludi, Suadeat laboris, In sigillo sculptum rudi Nomen Fundatoris. Vivat Rex Eduardus Sextus! Vivat! The song is of five verses, but the first and the last (referred to as the 'Carmen Saeculare') are the two printed each term in the School's 'Blue Book' diary and are nowadays sung at the end of whole school assemblies at the end of term (known as "lists") where prize-winners will receive prizes and various announcements will be made. A Classical Greek version of the song was composed along with this one, but it is never used.


  • Sir Colin Lucas, former Master of Balliol College and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University until 2001.
  • Michael McCrum CBE, former Headmaster of Eton College, former Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University until 2004.
  • Sir Derman Christopherson OBE FRS FREng, former Vice-Chancellor of Durham University and Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge
  • Harold Temperley, historian and former Master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge
  • Alan Turing OBE FRS, mathematician and instrumental figure at Bletchley Park
  • Alfred North Whitehead OM, mathematician and philosopher
  • John Newsom-Davis CBE FRCP FRS FMedSci, neurologist
  • Rt Hon Lord Hugh Thomas, historian
  • Richard Atkinson CBE, prehistorian and archeologist
  • Sir Malcom Pasley Bt FBA, literary scholar
  • Field Marshal Sir Claud Jacob GCB GCSI KCMG, WW1 Commander
  • Adm Sir Horace Law GCB OBE DSC, Commander in Chief Naval Home Command 1971-2
  • Gen Sir Charles Monro GCB GCMG GCSI Bt, Commander in Chief India 1916-1920, Governor of Gibraltar 1923-1928
  • Gen Sir John Wilsey GCB CBE DL, Commander in Chief Land Command 1995-1996
  • Gen Sir Jeremy Blacker KCB CBE, Master-General of the Ordnance 1991-1995
  • Lt Gen Sir Steuart Pringle Bt KCB DSC, former Royal Marines Commandant General until 1984
  • Lt Gen Sir Nicholas Parker KCB CBE, Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
  • Lt Gen David Leakey CMG CBE, retired, currently Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod
  • Maj Gen Sir Iain Mackay-Dick KCVO MBE, former Major-General Commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District
  • Maj Gen Sir Roy Redgrave KBE MC, former Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong
  • Maj Gen Julian Thompson CB OBE, Commander of Royal Marines ( 3 Commando Brigade) in the Falklands War
  • Maj Gen Patrick Cordingley DSO, Commander Desert Rats (and overall British Commander) in the Gulf War
  • Lt Col Timothy Spicer OBE, CEO of Aegis Defence Services
  • Capt Keith Muspratt MC, World War One Flying Ace
  • Flt Lt Carl Raymond Davis DFC, Battle of Britain Flying Ace
  • Sir David Spedding KCMG CVO OBE, former Head of the Secret Intelligence Service
  • Sir Christopher Curwen KCMG, former Head of the Secret Intelligence Service
Diplomacy and Colonial Administration
  • Rt Hon Lord Charles Bathurst GCMG KBE PC, former Governor-General of New Zealand
  • Sir Alan Campbell GCMG, diplomat
  • Sir Hugh Norman-Walker KCMG OBE, colonial administrator
  • Sir Donald MacGillivray KCMG MBE, last British High Commissioner in Malaya
  • Sir John Weston KCMG, former UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations
  • Sir Brian Barder KCMG, former UK High Commissioner to Australia
Notable Clergymen
  • The Most Rev Ernest Curtis, former Archbishop of the Indian Ocean
  • The Rt Rev Neville Lovett CBE DD, former Bishop of Salisbury
  • The Rt Rev Henry Whitehead DD, former Bishop of Madras
  • The Rt Rev Lord Sheppard of Liverpool, well-known former Bishop of Liverpool and England cricketer
  • The Rt Rev Geoffrey Lunt, former Bishop of Ripon
  • The Rt Rev Henry Henn, former Bishop of Burnley
  • The Rt Rev Forbes Horan, former Bishop of Tewkesbury
  • The Rt Rev Paul Barber, former Bishop of Brixworth
  • The Very Rev Frank Bennett, former Dean of Chester and eminent Anglican scholar
  • The Very Rev Benjamin Lewers, former Provost of Derby Cathedral
The Arts etc.
  • Sir Richard Eyre CBE, film and theatre director, artistic director of the National Theatre 1988-97
  • Sir Michael Hopkins CBE, architect
  • Cecil Day-Lewis CBE, poet
  • Warren Chetham-Strode MC, author and playwright
  • Hugh Bonneville, actor
  • Charles Collingwood, actor
  • David Cornwell, (a.k.a. John le Carré), writer
  • Charlie Cox, actor
  • Tim Heald, journalist and author
  • Jeremy Irons, actor
  • John Le Mesurier, actor
  • Chris Martin, lead singer of rock band Coldplay
  • Ian Messiter, creator of Just a Minute
  • Anthony Lane, film critic
  • Lance Percival, actor
  • Jon Pertwee, actor
  • James Purefoy, actor
  • Alec Waugh, novelist
  • Jonathan Powell, Controller of BBC One (1987”“1992)
  • John Cowper Powys, author, lecturer and philosopher
  • Jon Stock, journalist and author
  • Roland Young, actor
  • Simon McCoy, TV journalist and news presenter
  • Tom Bradby, TV journalist and political editor
  • Rt Hon Sir Christopher Chataway, long distance runner and Education Minister 1962-4.
  • Rt Hon Lord Alan Lennox-Boyd CH PC, Secretary of State for the Colonies 1954-9
  • Rt Hon Lord Thomas Buchanan PC, Under-Secretary of State for India 1908-9
  • Rt Hon Lord William Cecil KG PC, 18th Century politician
  • Robert Key MP, British South-West MP
  • Stanley Johnson, politician, writer, farmer and father of Boris Johnson
  • Peter Oborne, journalist, author and political commentator
  • David French, Chief Executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy
  • Sir Nathaniel Highmore GBE KCB, Government barrister and civil servant
  • Sir Alastair Pilkington, director of the Bank of England
  • Lt Cdr Peter Twiss OBE DSC & Bar, first person to exceed 1000 miles per hour
  • Charles Palmer CIE, engineer and survivor of the siege of Lucknow
  • King Mswati III, king of Swaziland
  • His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Heir Apparent of Qatar
  • James Adams, cricketer
  • John Bain (1854”“1929), England footballer and 1877 FA Cup Finalist
  • Ronald Cunningham, (a.k.a. The Great Omani), escapologist
  • Nigel Dempster, journalist
  • Nick Greenstock, former England Rugby Union centre
  • Franklin Adin Simmonds FRCS, orthopaedic surgeon
Victoria Cross holders Five Old Shirburnians have been awarded the Victoria Cross, to whom a memorial plaque was commissioned, the unveiling of which took place in the School Chapel on 19 September 2004.
  • Rear Admiral Henry James Raby VC CB. VC won in the Crimean War, when he was a Lieutenant in the Naval Brigade. Raby was the first man to actually receive the medal, with Queen Victoria pinning it onto him in the first investiture.
  • Brigadier General Sir Arthur George Hammond VC KCB DSO VC won in the Second Afghan War, when he was a Captain in the Bengal Staff Corps, Indian Army
  • Major General Charles Edward Hudson VC CB DSO & Bar MC VC won in the First World War, when he was a Temporary Lieutenant Colonel in the Sherwood Foresters
  • Major Edward Bamford VC DSO; VC won in the First World War, when he was a Captain in the Royal Marine Light Infantry
  • Captain John Hollington Grayburn VC; VC granted posthumously and he was gazetted Captain; won in the Second World War, as a Lieutenant in the Parachute Regiment

House Colours

Building Activity

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