Mapperty House (now St Antony’s School House), Westbury.

Mapperty House was used as a boarding house for Sherborne School from 1885 to 1890.

Mapperty House in Westbury was built as a school boarding house by William Beauchamp Wildman (1852-1922).  Wildman had opened in 1883 a small boarding house in Newland but in 1884 obtained permission from the School Governors to build a new boarding house, at his own expense, in Westbury on land held by Thomas Sherrin (1846-1896) [in 1889, Thomas Sherrin moved to Abbey Grange, now the Headmaster’s residence].  The house was completed by Easter 1885 and Wildman transferred his boarders from Newland to Westbury.  Wildman named the house Mapperty House, though the field it was built on was known as ‘Naperty’.  In December 1886, Wildman married Winifred Mabel Spens Black (1867-1948), the daughter of his music master a Glenalmond.  They had two sons, both of whom were born while the Wildman’s were living at Mapperty: Thomas Beauchamp (1888-1965) and Arthur Henry (1890-1915).  From 1886 to 1891, two of the Powys brothers were boarders at Mapperty House: John Cowper Powys (1872-1963), who became a famous author, and Littleton Charles Powys (1874-1955), later headmaster of Sherborne Preparatory School.  John Cowper Powys described Wildman and life at Mapperty in his Autobiography (1934).

A libel action brought against Headmaster E.M. Young in November 1889 by a former master led to a rapid decline in School numbers.  In February 1890, the Headmaster wrote to the School Governors that there were currently 16 boys boarding at Mapperty with two absent.  During the Christmas holidays in 1890, Wildman surrendered the lease of Mapperty to The Religious of Christian Instruction from Ghent who arrived in Sherborne on 7 June 1891 and renamed the house St Anthony’s.  The sisters opened a convent school in the former boarding house and in 1894 opened the Church of the Sacred Heart and St Aldhelm. In 1948, they purchased Leweston Manor from Mrs Rose and the senior pupils were moved there.  In 1991, the Sisters gave both the church and the priest’s house to the Diocese.  St. Antony’s Preparatory School in Westbury was closed in 1993 and a new Preparatory School was opened at Leweston.  Subsequently, the convent and the school buildings were sold to the Diocese.

Former pupils of Sherborne School who boarded at Mapperty House (Wildman’s house) include John Cowper Powys and Littleton Charles Powys.

House colours: white and black (later used by Westcott House)

House letter:     g (later used by Lyon House)

1885-1890            William Beauchamp Wildman (1852-1922)

Online resources:

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

Return to the School Archives homepage