Gresham School: A History
During the dissolution of monasteries in 1553 by Henry VIII, the only local school, the Augustinian Priory in Beeston Regis, was closed down leaving locals with no means of an education. This led to the foundation of Gresham’s School two years later by Sir John Gresham. It became a grammar school for forty boys based in Holt’s Manor House offering free education. When Gresham died he left the school in the care of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, to whom it still belongs to this day.
The school managed to escape any lasting damage from the Great Fire in 1708 and carried on for a further 200 years. It grew and was renovated during the Victorian era, and the Manor House was renamed the Old School House, now the home of Gresham’s Pre-Prep School.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, George Howson revived the school as its new headmaster. Whilst there the school was moved from the Old School House to the current site on the edge of Holt. He also founded the school’s first house for boys named Howsons, after himself, in 1903. Shortly after, three other boys houses were founded: Woodlands in 1905, Farfield and Tallis in 1911, all of which are still around today.
Girls were admitted into the school in the 1970’s, and by 1971 Oakeley, the first girl’s house, was built. This was followed by Edinburgh in 1984 and Britten in 1992. Due to the rapid growth of the school, the former Junior School was divided into a Preparatory school and a Pre-Preparatory school in 1984, each occupying their own respective areas in Holt.
Today, the school remains where it has been for the past 100 years and offers a friendly curriculum that caters to all students, along with many extra-curricular activities that help pupils become confident, resourceful and well-educated young adults.