Blundell's School is a co-educational day and boarding independent school located in the town of Tiverton in the county of Devon, England. It was founded in 1604 under the will of Peter Blundell, one of the richest men in England at the time, and moved to its present site on the outskirts of the town in May 1882. It was known until the 19th century as Tiverton Grammar School.
|Type||Independent day and boarding school|
|Motto||Pro Patria Populoque|
(For the country and the people)
|Department for Education URN||113575 Tables|
|Chairman of the Governors||C. M. Clapp|
|Age||2½ to 18|
|Enrolment||c. 600 in senior school|
c. 300 in preparatory school
|Houses||Francis (Boys) |
|Colour(s)||red & white|
|Former pupils||Old Blundellians|
While the full boarding fees are £31,755 per year, the school offers several scholarships and bursaries, and provides flexi-boarding. The school has 350 boys and 225 girls, including 107 boys and 65 girls in the Sixth Form, and is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
The Good Schools Guide calls Blundell's a "distinguished rural school of ancient lineage".
Peter Blundell, one of the wealthiest merchants of Elizabethan England, died in 1601, having made his fortune principally in the cloth industry. His will set aside considerable money and land to establish a school in his home town "to maintain sound learning and true religion". Blundell asked his friend John Popham, Lord Chief Justice of England, to carry out his wishes, and appointed a number of local merchants and gentry as his first trustees (known as feoffees). The position of feoffee is no longer hereditary, but a number of notable local families have held the position for a considerable period: the first ancestor of the current Chairman of the Governors to hold that position was elected more than 250 years ago, and the Heathcoat-Amory family have a long tradition of service on the Governing Body, since Sir John Heathcoat-Amory was appointed in 1865.
The Old Blundell's School was built to be much larger and grander than any other in the West Country, with room for 150 scholars and accommodation for a master and an usher. The Grade 1 listed building is now in the care of the National Trust and the forecourt is usually open to visitors. One ex-Blundell's boy was the writer R. D. Blackmore, who in the novel Lorna Doone set the stage for a fight between John Ridd and Robin Snell on the Blundell's triangular lawn.
Peter Blundell's executors established links with Balliol College, Oxford, and with Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and large sums were settled to provide for scholarships for pupils of the school to attend those colleges. The first Sidney Sussex scholar was nominated in 1610 and the first Blundell's Balliol scholar in 1615. The links with these colleges continue today, although without the closed scholarships.
In 1882 the school moved to the present Horsdon site, one mile from the original location. The new buildings were designed by Hayward & Son of Exeter, and built in red Halberton stone, the foundation stone was laid by the William Courtenay, 11th Earl of Devon, chairman of the governors, in June 1880. Reginald Blomfield, the architect and garden designer, was responsible for the additions to the school, which were completed in 1901.
The School's War Memorial was carved by the school's sculpture teacher, Estcourt James Clack and is a replica of the Celtic Cross in Eyam churchyard, but with the missing part intact.
The clock tower contains a statue by Alain John, a pupil of the School and aspiring sculptor, who joined the RAF as a navigator and was killed during the Second World War. The statue was subsequently re-cast at the commission of Neville Gorton, then Bishop of Coventry, and stands in the ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the war.
In recent years Blundell's has undergone some reorganisation and development. In 1989 Ondaatje Hall was opened, following a donation by OB Christopher Ondaatje for its construction. Among its many facilities is a 150-seat professional theatre, which as well as putting on in-house productions is also used for public performances.
Girls were admitted from the age of 13 in 1993, to make the school fully co-educational. To make room for them, the boys' boarding house North Close (NC) was changed into a girls' house. In 1997 School House (SH) became a junior house for pupils aged 11–13.
The prep school St Aubyn's was moved to the Blundell's campus in 2000, taking over the day-boy house Milestones (M) and the Sanatorium, and was renamed Blundell's Prep School. It currently has about 300 pupils aged from two-and-a-half years to eleven. The current Headmaster is Andy Southgate.
A change to the way the U6 boarders are housed took place when the old Westlake (W) was sold off and a new Westlake built on the site of the CCF parade ground. Opened in 2004, the new Westlake houses all boys and girls who are in their final year.
The two latest developments to be completed are an extension to the Music school, and the building of the Popham Academic Centre, which houses the new Economics and Business School department, the new server for the school intranet and a dedicated IT teaching area.
Rugby is the main sport played at Blundell's in the Autumn and Spring terms. The earliest mention of "football" in the Blundellian was in 1861 and the first recorded "rugger" match played by boys at Blundell's was in 1868 against Tiverton Rugby Club, making the school one of the oldest anywhere formally to play the game. The Blundell's crest still hangs in the main room at Twickenham in recognition of this.
The strongest years for Blundell's were the two decades after World War 2, when Clem Thomas gained 26 caps for Wales in 1949–59 (in 1958–59 as captain), Richard Sharp won 14 caps for England 1960-67 (Captain 1963 and 1967) and David Shepherd won five caps for Australia in 1964–66. Both Thomas and Sharp played in two tests for Britain in South Africa.
Blundell's won the Rosslyn Park National Sevens title in 1981 and won the second ever Open Final 28–0 against Dulwich College, in 1940. The Blundell's XVs continue to compete at the highest level among the public schools of the South West, with Bryanston, Millfield, Cheltenham College and Clifton College among their regular opponents.
Jack Maunder is an English rugby union player who plays scrum-half for Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership.
Sam Maunder, brother of Jack Maunder, plays for England U18 squad.
One annual tradition is the school's cross-country run known as the Russell, named after OB Jack Russell, a vicar and dog-breeder. It was first run in 1887, and 2009 saw the 129th run. The Russell has changed over the years with different courses introduced to accommodate the different ages and sexes of pupils at the school. The current senior course is 4.85 miles.
Cricket at the 1900 Olympics
Four Old Blundellians played in the gold medal-winning Great Britain cricket team at the 1900 Summer Olympics, the only time cricket featured in the Olympics. Britain was represented by an unofficial touring club team, the Devon & Somerset Wanderers Cricket Club (formed by William Donne in 1894 and made up of Old Blundellians and members of Castle Cary Cricket Club).
Southern Railway Schools Class
The School lent its name to the thirty-third steam locomotive (Engine 932) in the Southern Railway's Class V of which there were 40. This class was also known as the Schools Class because all 40 of the class were named after prominent English public schools. Blundell's, as it was called, was built in 1934. The locomotive bearing the school's name was withdrawn from service in January 1961. In 2009 Hornby produced a model of this particular Schools class locomotive. As the product photograph shows, while the name of this locomotive has been variously quoted as Blundells or Blundell's the apostrophe does actually appear on the nameplate.
William Hogarth engraved the Letterhead for the invitation to a dinner for former pupils of the School in 1725 and the Ticket for Tiverton School Feast in 1740, (image of print courtesy of Antiqueprints.com).
Notable former pupils include:
- Robert Arundell, Governor of the Windward Islands and Barbados
- Vernon Bartlett, journalist and politician
- Edward Bellew, drainage inspector and winner of the Victoria Cross
- R. D. Blackmore, author of Lorna Doone
- Richard Bowring, Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge
- William Buckland, geologist
- William Edward Buckley, professor of Anglo-Saxon
- George Bull, theologian and bishop
- Giles Bullard, High Commissioner to the West Indies
- Bampfylde Moore Carew, rogue and imposter
- Aelred Carlyle, missionary and monk
- Frederick William Cuming,1900 Olympic gold medal winner as part of the UK cricket team
Charles Cornwallis Chesney, soldier and military writer
- John Ebdon, writer
- John Eliot, English statesman
- Tristan Evans, Drummer & backing vocals for UK based band The Vamps
- Charles Rossiter Forwood, lawyer and Attorney General of Fiji
- Francis Fulford, Anglo-Catholic bishop of Montreal
- Alfred Ian Gardner, Arrogant bloke, clap survivor and self - proclaimed King of Wit
- John Gay, philosopher
- Miles Giffard, English cricketer who was hanged for the murder of his parents.
- Michael Gilbert, writer of fictional mysteries and thrillers
- Douglas Gracey, Commander in Chief Pakistan Army 1948-51
- Charles Harper, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of St. Helena 1925–1932
- Thomas Hayter, bishop of Norwich 1749–61, bishop of London 1761–62
- Abraham Hayward, man of letters
- Archibald Hill, Nobel Prize winner
- David Gordon Hines, developer of co-operatives in Tanganyika and Uganda
- Walter Hook, Tractarian vicar of Leeds
- James Jeremie, academic and churchman
- John Jeremie, governor of Sierra Leone
- C. E. M. Joad, intellectual, broadcasting personality and fare dodger
- Geoffrey Lampe, theologian and winner of the Military Cross
- Wilfrid Le Gros Clark, surgeon, primatologist and paleoanthropologist who disproved Piltdown Man
- Robin Lloyd-Jones, Author
- Jeremy Lloyds, Test Cricket umpire
- George Malcolm, army officer
- Thomas Manton, Puritan clergyman
- John Margetson, former British Ambassador to Vietnam, the United Nations, and the Netherlands.
- Vic Marks, Somerset and England cricketer
- Professor John Marrack, DSO, MC, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Pathology in the University of London
- John Marrack, (10 February 1921 – 7 November 2009) naval officer, Queen's Harbourmaster 1962.
- Claire Marshall, journalist
- Michael Mates, former MP (constituency of East Hampshire)
- Hugh Morris, England cricketer and current Managing Director of the England and Wales Cricket Board
- Gordon Newton, Editor of the Financial Times
- Christopher Ondaatje, author and donor to the Labour Party
- William Pillar, Fourth Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Supplies
- John de la Pole, 6th Baronet
- Ben Rice, novelist
- Jack Russell, Victorian hunting parson, dog breeder
- Peter Schidlof, Austrian-British violist and co-founder of the Amadeus Quartet
- Edward Seymour, 16th Duke of Somerset
- Evelyn Seymour, 17th Duke of Somerset
- Percy Seymour, 18th Duke of Somerset
- Richard Sharp, England rugby captain
- Frederick Spring, senior army officer
- Trevor Spring, army officer
- J. C. Squire, poet, writer, historian, and influential literary editor
- Donald Stokes, industrialist and peer
- Jon Swain, award-winning writer, whose memoirs were portrayed in the film The Killing Fields
- Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury
- Clem Thomas, Wales Rugby Captain
- Georgia "Toff" Toffolo, television and media personality
- Charles Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, English civil servant, governor of Madras
- Henry Hawkins Tremayne, creator of the Lost Gardens of Heligan
- John Van der Kiste, author
- Walter Walker, controversial soldier and writer
- Arthur Graeme West, war poet
- John Whiteley, Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff 1949–53
- Cyril Wilkinson, Great Britain hockey player and Olympic Gold Medallist
- Geoffrey Willans, humorist and co-author of Nigel Molesworth series
- Matthew Wood, 1st Baronet, Lord Mayor of London, MP for the City of London and close friend of Queen Caroline
- John Wyndham, author whose work included The Day of the Triffids
- 2018-present: Bart Wielenga
- 2013–2018: Nicola Huggett
- 2012–2013: Randall Thane
- 2004–2012: Ian Davenport
- 1992–2004: Jonathan Leigh
- 1980–1992: A.J.D. Rees
- 1971–1980: A. Clive S. Gimson
- 1959–1971: J.M. Stanton
- 1947–1959: J.S. Carter
- 1943–1947: R.L. Roberts
- 1934–1942: Neville Gorton
- 1930–1933: Alexander Wallace
- 1917–1930: Arthur Edwin Wynne
- 1874–1917: A.L. Francis
- 1847–1874: John Hughes
- 1834–1847: Henry Sanders
- 1823–1834: Alldersey Dicken
- 1797–1823: William Richards
- 1775–1797: Richard Keats, rector of Bideford and King's Nympton, father of Richard Goodwin Keats (1757–1834), Martha Keats (1753–1833) and of Lewis William Buck (1784-1858), MP.
- 1757–1775: Philip Atherton
- 1740–1757: William Daddo
- 1734–1740: Samuel Wesley
- 1733–1734: John Jones
- 1730–1733: Samual Smith
- 1698–1730: William Rayner
- 1684–1698: John Sanders
- 1669–1684: George Hume
- 1651–1669: Henry Batten
- 1648–1651: Henry Osborne
- 1604–1647: Samuel Butler
Notable former masters
Former masters of Blundell's have included:
- Terry Barwell, cricketer
- Jim Clack, woodwork teacher and sculptor of the Diana Fountain in London's Green Park.
- Manning Clark, historian
- Eric Gill, sculptor, typeface designer and printmaker
- Neville Gorton, Bishop of Coventry
- Malcolm Moss, politician
- Grahame Parker, sportsman
- C. Northcote Parkinson, naval historian and author of the bestselling book Parkinson's Law
- Gilbert Phelps, writer and broadcaster
- Lawrence Sail, poet
- Willi Soukop, sculptor
- Stephen Spender, poet and essayist
- Mervyn Stockwood, missioner to the School and later Bishop of Southwark
- Samuel Wesley (the Younger), poet and churchman
- "Blundell's School | Tiverton | LEA:Devon | Devon". The Good Schools Guide. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- GENUKI/Devon: Tiverton 1850
- Lorna Doone, A Romance of Exmoor - CHAPTER II
- Balliol Archives - Blundell's School
- Mike Sampson (2004) A history of Tiverton. ISSN 0305-8549
- Prospectus History 2004 011106:Prospectus History 2004 100304
- Blundell's Foundation Archived 27 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Eteach - Education Recruitment Vacancies, Supply Teaching Jobs". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
- www.blundells.org - Rugby
- "OB Club - Sport". Blundells.org. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- www.blundells.org - Headmasters
- OB Club - Sport Archived 25 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Archived 19 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Report & Transactions, Volume 23, Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and Art, 1891
- "Search object details". British Museum. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- Frederic Boase, Modern English Biography, vol. 4 (Netherton and Worth, 1906), p. 2,007
- "Captain John Marrack - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. 3 January 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
John Alexander Marrack was born on February 10, 1921 in Barnet and educated at Downsend School, Leatherhead, and Blundell's. He joined the Navy as a special entry in September 1938.
- Gentleman's Magazine, 1834, p.653, obituary of Admiral Keats
- Vivian, J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, Stucley & Buck pedigree, pp.723