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Old Grammar School

On the 12th Mach 1510 the executors of Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby - mother of Henry Vll - gave details of a stipend of £10 for the Chaplain of the Minster to teach Grammar to ‘all who came’.

In 1563 the Governors arranged for a “fit and proper” schoolmaster - but only a year later he was advised that he should

gyve better attendance with the schollars and also to keep them in better order as well as in church as in streate which he had granted to do

 So, a shaky start it seems   .


The building we know as the Old Grammar School off King Street was actually built in 1842 and converted into flats in 1982.  An old free Grammar school building  that stood in School House Lane was itself demolished in 1849 - some seven years after the newer building was completed.  During the 1830s it was resolved to build the building we see today. A brew-house and a coach house were incorporated and the two ends of the ground floor area were taken up with spacious living accommodation for the Headmaster and the “Second Master” - each with a separate Dining Room, Library but sharing a wine cellar. Between those areas was the large hall in which teaching took place.  Dormitories for staff and students were on the upper floor.  Quills were, of course, used by the students who came from a number of areas other than Wimborne.  Fifty percent  of the students in 1849 were local and the others came from as far away as Derbyshire and Nottingham.

The old Chantry Priests house had been used in earlier times - In 1601 and for many years throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the teachers were clergy - but this didn’t alter that in 1769 one of the Headmasters duties was to  direct his students to the sport of cock-fighting in the Shrove Tuesday events.  

How times change !

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Old Grammar School, King Street - Built 1842