Hull Grammar School

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Hull Grammar School
Motto Floreat Nostra Schola
Established c. 1330
Closed 2005
Type Independent selective school
Religion Secular
Location Cottingham Road
East Riding of Yorkshire
England Coordinates: 53°46′05″N 0°21′43″W / 53.768120°N 0.362070°W / 53.768120; -0.362070
Local authority Hull
Staff 100+
Students 1200+
Gender Co-educational-mixed
Ages 2–18
Houses Wilberforce, Marvell, Alcock, and Gee (Named after famous men associated with the school)
Colours Red and Black

Hull Grammar School was an independent secondary school in Hull, England, founded around 1330 and endowed in 1486 by Dr. John Alcock. The school merged with Hull High School to form Hull Collegiate School in 2005.


The seventeenth oldest independent school in the U.K. and formerly one of the top Independent Schools in Kingston upon Hull, Hull Grammar School was merged with rival Hull High School in September 2005 to form the new Hull Collegiate School. Hull Grammar School was founded around 1330 and was endowed by Dr. John Alcock (Bishop of Rochester, Worcester, and Ely, and afterwards Lord Chancellor of England; founder of Jesus College, Cambridge) in 1479.[1] The School flourished till its revenues were seized under the Chantries Act of 1547. The people of Hull objected and eventually re-established the school. In 1586 the school was declared, by inquisition, the property of the Crown. In the following year Queen Elizabeth I gave the school house, the garden, and other tenements, "formerly given to superstitious uses," to Luke Thurcross, the then mayor, and others. He, in 1604, being the only survivor of those who had obtained this grant, gave his interest in the school and gardens to four trustees for the use of the mayor and burgesses for ever. The appointment of masters was now in the hands of the Corporation, and by the charter of James I, the right of presentation was secured to them. An exhibition of £40 to Cambridge University was given to the School by Thomas Bury in 1627, and augmented by Thomas Ferries in 1630. Another scholarship of £60 a year at Clare College, Cambridge, founded by Alexander Metcalf. Amongst the eminent men who were masters of this school were the Rev. Andrew Marvell, M.A., the father of the patriot; the Rev. John Clarke, the translator of Suetonius and Sallust; and the Rev. Joseph Milner, author of the 'History of the Church.' In 1892 the endowments produce about £80 a year, for which the master taught the Classics free, but the scholars paid for other subjects, under Town Council regulations.

The 20th century saw the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the endowment by official founder, Bishop Alcock, and the gradual admission of girls into the formerly boys-only School. The Education Act of 1944 made the LEA fully responsible for the school. This became just one part of the government's tripartite 'secondary education for all'. In 1969 the school became comprehensive, and remained a state comprehensive until 1988.[2] The local government reorganisation of 1974 saw education transferred from Hull City Council to the newly created Humberside County Council which ran the school until 1988 when, following reorganisation, it was renamed William Gee School for Boys.

The name Hull Grammar was acquired and in 1989 a new private school carrying the name Hull Grammar School was opened. There was much dispute about which school could lay claim to rightly by the continuation of Hull Grammar, the state run William Gee School for Boys or the new private school. In 1991, Nord Anglia Education PLC, an education and training company, acquired Hull Grammar School from the administrator for £900,000.

In 2003, the highly successful School (net asset value of £1,800,000) hosted 450 pupils-boys and girls-from two to 18 years of age, and registered a turnover of £2,400,000, of which £280,000 went to Nord Anglia. The School was purchased from Nord Anglia for £4,180,000 by the United Church Schools Company (affiliated to the Church of England), and merged in September 2005 with Hull High School (owned by the Company since 1890), a co-educational Independent School (with a girls-only senior school, ages 11–18) of similar size and strength. The new 'Hull Collegiate School' was moved to a new campus at Tranby Croft.


In 1486 a home for the school was built in the Market Square of Kingston upon Hull, on South Church Side opposite Holy Trinity Church. This fine old brick pile now houses the interactive 'Hands-on History' Museum. Around 1578, the building having fallen into rot, Alderman William Gee (who was thrice Mayor of Hull) opened a subscription for the purpose of repairing it. This resulted in the erection of a new school, in which Alderman Gee was joined by the Corporation of Hull, who added a second story, which was used as an exchange and assembly room. Alderman Gee not only contributed £80 and 20,000 bricks, but also left two houses in the 'Butchery' (now Queen Street) for the benefit of the school. From the date upon three stones let into the wall, the work appears to have been completed in 1583. The cost of rebuilding was £600. The building was purchased in 1875 by the vicar of Holy Trinity Church, who had it restored and converted into a mission room and choir school. From 1875 to 1891 the Hull Grammar school was carried on in temporary premises, but, in the latter year, a new and commodious school was erected in Leicester Street, which was officially opened by the Mayor of Hull (E. Robson, J.P.) on 27 January 1892. The new school was built in the Collegiate Gothic style, having an elevation of red bricks with stone dressings. It has a large entrance hall, one large room, 50 feet by 22 feet, two class-rooms, 20 feet by 22 feet; with the former headmaster's room, large cloakrooms and lavatories, on the ground floor. The porter's room was located to command a view of the classroom doors and superintend entry and exit of pupils. The upper floor is reached by a stone staircase. Here were classrooms of a smaller size, an assistant master's room, and a room for general purposes. In the large room was a gallery for visitors at public events, and, this room could, when necessary, be divided into two. In the 20th century, the School moved onto Bishop Alcock Road in the Bricknell Avenue area of Hull. It remained there until 1988 when following reorganisation of the City of Hull's education system the school was renamed William Gee School for Boys. The name Hull Grammar School was acquired by Nord Anglia Education Plc and was moved to a site on Cottingham Road in the western suburbs of Kingston upon Hull.

Notable former pupils[edit]

John Firth, notable philanthropist (1968-1974)[citation needed]


  1. ^ Allison, K.J., ed. (1969). A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 1: The City of Kingston upon Hull. Courtesy of British History Online. pp. 348–70. 
  2. ^ [1] Hull City Archives, Hull Grammar School Records, 1750–2002

External links[edit]

  • A history of the School at:[2]
  • The museum of Ancient Egyptian and Victorian English life now housed in the old School buildings: [3]