Aysgarth School

Aysgarth School is an independent day and boarding preparatory school near to the village of Newton-le-Willows, North Yorkshire, England. As the name suggests, it was originally opened in the village of Aysgarth but was moved to Newton-le-Willows in 1890.

Aysgarth School
Aysgarth School
Location within North Yorkshire


TypePreparatory independent day and boarding school
MottoEx quercu non ex salice
Latin: Of oak, not of willow
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderReverend Clement Hales
School districtRichmondshire
Department for Education URN121738 Tables
Head teacherMr Rob Morse
Enrolment203 (141 boarders)
Former pupilsAysgarthians[1]
Admissions policyNon Selective


The school was opened in 1877 by the Reverend Clement Hales to prepare boys for a secondary school education. In 1890, the school moved to newly built premises costing £20,000 in the village of Newton-le-Willows but retained the name of Aysgarth School.[2][3] The chapel was a new building too, but contained items from elsewhere, such as the pulpit which was originally from Easby Abbey near Richmond.[4] Whilst the chapel on site is a listed building, the rest of the buildings remain unlisted due to a significant fire on site in 1933 which destroyed much of the school.[5][6]

The school is a preparatory school for selection to a range of private and independent schools across the United Kingdom and offers places to boys between the ages of 8 and 13 and also runs a pre-prep (or preparatory nursery) open to boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 7.[7] Its independent status means that it is assessed by the Independent Schools Inspectorate for reporting purposes rather than Ofsted.[8]

The school has been described as one of the leading prep schools for boys and the only single-sex school of its kind north of Oxford.[9][10] Its admissions policy is non-selective and fosters a culture of allowing boys to be boys in a safe but calming environment.[11] The school is one of many who allow pets into the class and Aysgarth School encourages Housemasters to allow their dogs into class.[10][12] The school's ethos is based on Christian values and principles, and as such, boarders are expected to attend services in the chapel on site for church services.[13]

The school's motto is Ex quercu non ex salice (Latin for of oak, not of willow) and former pupils are known as Aysgarthians.[14]

Notable Aysgarthians


  1. Dooks, Brian (12 June 2009). "Battle of Britain veteran finally honoured on new school plaque". The Yorkshire Post. ProQuest 335317784.
  2. "Aysgarth new School and Chapel". The York Herald (12, 486). 11 June 1891. p. 6. OCLC 877360086.
  3. Speight, Harry (1897). Romantic Richmondshire. London: E Stock. pp. 340–341. OCLC 252008733.
  4. "Aysgarth School". The York Herald (14, 138). 28 September 1896. p. 2. OCLC 877360086.
  5. Historic England. "Chapel at Aysgarth School  (Grade II) (1131416)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  6. Historic England. "Aysgarth School (1448975)". PastScape. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  7. Roberts, John (25 June 2009). "Toby following in footsteps of great Britons". The Yorkshire Post. ProQuest 335393855.
  8. "Aysgarth School". reports.ofsted.gov.uk. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  9. The Gabbitas Top 500 Independent Schools A Guide to the Best in Private Education. London: Kogan Page Ltd. 2013. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-7494-7035-7.
  10. "Aysgarth School". tatler.com. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  11. "Aysgarth School – Bedale". Darlington and Stockton Times. 10 July 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  12. Watkins, Flora (7 April 2015). "Pets at school: meet the 'the other boarders'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  13. "Social care Inspection Report 2008" (PDF). reports.ofsted.gov.uk. 21 November 2008. p. 4. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  14. Waugh, Tessa (Autumn 2014). "Paradise for Northern Boys". Country Life. School Life Magazine. Farnborough: Time Inc: 25. ISSN 0045-8856.
  15. Samuels, Alec (3 January 2008). "Bushe, Sir (Henry) Grattan (1886–1961)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/40718. Retrieved 22 February 2018. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  16. Frogley, Alain (23 September 2004). "Butterworth, George Sainton Kaye (1885–1916)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32222. Retrieved 22 February 2018. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  17. Winton, John (2016). "4: Twentieth Century Operations". The Victoria Cross at Sea (2 ed.). Barnsley: Pen & Sword. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-47387-612-5.
  18. "David Ince". The Times. 24 August 2017. p. 58. ISSN 0140-0460.
  19. Garfield, Brian (2008). The Meinertzhaen Mystery The Life and Legend of a Colossal Fraud. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books Inc. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-59797-160-7.
  20. "Fear of Olympic failure spurred on oarsman to medal triumph". The Yorkshire Post. 23 September 2004. ProQuest 335152838.
  21. Sedgwick, Phillip (21 April 2015). "Unlikely head has no regrets". Darlington and Stockton Times. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
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