School House has been in continuous use as a School boarding house since 1860.
The cornerstone of School House was laid on 26 June 1860 by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, seventh earl of Shaftesbury. The new building was designed by William Slater and built by John Guppy for an initial cost of about £5,000, and was the first purpose-built boarding accommodation at Sherborne School.
The private side was occupied by the Headmaster who until 1946 was also housemaster of School House. In 1903, a bay window was built onto the west side of the Lower Study to mark the School once again attaining a total of 200 pupils after a fall in numbers in the 1890s during E.M. Young’s headmastership.
Subsequent additions and improvements to School House include the castellated bay window on south side of Headmaster’s study (1884); drying room (1898); merger of dormitories (1898), shower room (1903); inner bike shed, the gift of J.B. Carrington (1905); changing room, the gift of J.B. Carrington (1909); east windows in dayroom (1912); bathrooms, the original bathroom was on the ground floor on left of boys’ entrance (1912); lowering the wall between School House and School House Studies (now the Headmaster’s building) (1928); enlargement of bathrooms (1935); re-flooring of dormitories (1936); dayroom yard (1937); west window in House Tutor’s study (1958); back garden (1959); and the dormitory extension to the east (1970).
Former School House boys have included Charles Bathurst 1st Viscount Bledisloe (Governor-General of New Zealand), David Bednall (composer, organist, pianist), Percy Buckman (artist), Clive Carey (singer, composer, opera producer, folk song collector), Arthur Carr (England Test cricketer), Derman Christopherson FRS (engineer and university administrator), Geofry Courtenay (Scotland Hockey International), Ron Cunningham (escapologist, stage-name ‘The Great Omani’), Nigel Dempster (journalist, author, broadcaster), Thomas Devitt (England Rugby International), Charles Dick (Scotland Rugby International) Robert Key (politician), William Bruce Knight (Welsh scholar, ecclesiastic and theologian), Jason Lewis (adventurer and author), Geoffrey Lunt (Bishop of Salisbury), Rupert Maas (art dealer and presenter on BBC TV Antiques Roadshow), Simon McCoy (journalist and presenter on BBC TV News at One), Ian Messiter (BBC Radio producer and creator of Just a Minute), Henry Ruthven Moore (Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet, ADC to King George VI), Herbert Arnould Olivier (artist), Lance Percival (actor, comedian and singer who appeared in That Was the Week That Was, several Carry On films, There’s a Girl in My Soup, and provided the voices of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr for The Beatles cartoon series and of ‘Old Fred’ in the Yellow Submarine film), Littleton Albert Powys (British Army Officer), Timothy Spicer (British Army Officer), Julian Thompson (British Army Officer and author), Torsten Ullman (Swedish pistol shooter), Alec Waugh (author of over 40 books including The Loom of Youth and Island in the Sun), George Weldon (orchestral conductor), Alfred North Whitehead FRS (mathematician and philosopher, co-author with Bertrand Russell of Principia Mathematica), Roland Young (actor who appeared in Topper, The Philadelphia Story, And Then There Were None).
House letter: a.
House colours: magenta and black.
House magazines: The Criterion, The Parish Magazine (the journal of the parish of St. Ted’s in the Court), Watchdog.
Until 1946 the Headmaster was in charge of School House
1946 Arthur Bellyse Gourlay (1907-1976)
1961 Lionel Bruce (1917-1993)
1969 Peter Boissier (1921-2004)
1979 Michael Higginbottom
1983 George Facer
1990 Stephen Meek
1995 Carlo Ferrario
1999 Peter Watts
2010 Kester Jackson
- School House photographs
- School House roll of honour
- School House boys’ accounts of the bombing of Sherborne on 30 September 1940
- History of Sherborne School’s boarding houses
For further information about the Sherborne School Archives please contact the School Archivist
Return to the School Archives homepage