Lyon House, Richmond Road, c.1912.

Lyon House has been in continuous use as a school boarding house since 1912.

In 1910, the School Governors purchased from the Digby Estate a plot of land in Richmond Road known as ‘Sherrin’s Field’ for the purpose of building a new boarding house. In January 1911, R.T. Milford was appointed Housemaster of the new boarding house which was then still being built.  While Milford awaited the completion of the new house he set up a temporary boarding house with four boarders in Gainsborough House in South Street, Sherborne.

The new boarding house, named after former Headmaster Ralph Lyon (1795-1856), was opened on 25 January 1912 with sixteen boarders.  The building cost £6836.9.7, including £620 for the land. Lyon House shares the distinction with School House of having been constructed solely for educational purposes.  Later additions to the premises include the ‘sweat house’ (1936), the Ross Room and first floor Reading Room (1969/1970), additional studies above the sweat house (1974), and the Boissier wing (2006).  In 1940, the boys dug a 150 feet trench topped with 1,000 sandbags in the garden for use as an air raid shelter.  The Garden of Remembrance was built in 1946 and designed by Oswald Somers Brakspear ARIBA (Lyon 1926-1930)and Rowland de Winton Aldridge FRIBA (The Green 1920-1925).

The Lyon House Loving Cup was presented to the house by A.H. Trelawny-Ross in memory of Old Boys killed in the First World War.  It was made by Harman & Lambert and is a replica of one which Sir Nicholas Bacon as Lord Chancellor had made in 1574.

Former Lyon boys have included Oswald Brakspear (architect), Hubert Burton (actor), J.C. Critchell Bullock (explorer and adventurer), Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch (actor known by his stage name Timothy Carlton, father of Benedict Cumberbatch), Phil Harvey (creative director and fifth member of the band Coldplay), Tim Heald (journalist and author), Adrian & Stuart Jardine (one or both have represented GB in sailing at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games), Stanley Johnson (broadcaster, journalist, author, and conservationist), Robert Kitson (sports journalist), John le Mesurier (actor best known for Sergeant Wilson in Dad’s Army), Christopher Morcom (promising scientist and mathematician, school friend of Alan Turing), Alan Lennox-Boyd (politician and a member of Winston Churchill’s peacetime government), Jonathan Marsden (art historian and curator), Peter Roderick Oliver (mountaineer), Alastair Pilkington FRS (glass technologist), David Sheppard (England Test cricketer and Bishop of Liverpool), Hyla Stallard (ophthalmologist, won a bronze medal in the men’s 1500 metres at the 1924 Olympic Games), Hugh Swynnerton Thomas (Baron Thomas of Swynnerton, historian), John Wilsey (British army officer and author).

House letter: g (formerly house letter of Mapperty House).

House colours: blue and black (formerly house colours of Ramsam House).

House magazines: Lyon House Letter, The Lyon’s Den.

Dormitory names:
Becher – named in memory of James Stewart Becher (1910-1941).
Bennett – named in memory of Maurice Porter Bennett (1897-1917).
Gibbons – named in memory of John Gibbons (1897-1917).
Halliday – named in memory of Charles Graham Rivers Halliday (1897-1917).
Morcom – named in memory of Christopher Collan Morcom (1911-1930).
Pick – named in memory of David Bryan Pickering Pick (1921-1940).

1911     Robert Theodore Milford (1862-1935)
1914     Alexander Hamelin Trelawny-Ross (OS) (1884-1967)
1946     Hugh Holmes (1910-1993)
1961     Peter Boissier (1921-2004)
1969     Roger Ketley
1983     Michael Hatch
1995     Patrick Francis
2006     Guy Briere-Edney
2011     Ben Sunderland
2021     to be announced

Online Resources:

For further information about the Sherborne School Archives please contact the School Archivist

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