Shebbear College

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Shebbear College
Shebbear College logo.png
Motto Ad Gloriam Per Spinas
("To Glory Through Thorns")
Established 1829 - Founded as 'Prospect College'
1841 - Re-founded as 'Shebbear College'
Type Independent day and boarding school
Religion Methodist
Headteacher Simon Weale
Founder Samuel Thorne
Location Shebbear
EX21 5HJ
England Coordinates: 50°51′50″N 4°12′14″W / 50.864°N 4.204°W / 50.864; -4.204
DfE number 878/6031
DfE URN 113605 Tables
Students 342 as of January 2012[1]
Gender Coeducational
Ages 3–18
Houses Way
Colours Red
Former pupils Old Shebbearians

Shebbear College is a co-educational Methodist independent day and boarding school located in Shebbear, Devon, 39 miles from the county seat of Exeter, in South West England and is one of a group of independent boarding schools that form part of the Methodist Church's involvement in education.


The college was founded as 'Prospect College' in 1829 by the Bible Christian Church and reformed as 'Shebbear College in 1841. It was originally formed for the sons of Bible Christians to train for the ministry. Edgehill College, founded for Methodist girls in nearby Bideford in 1884, was considered the college's 'sister-college'. The college became co-educational in the 1990s. In 1993, its closure was announced but the decision was subsequently reversed.


  • Hallifield Cosgayne O'Donnoghue (1840-1842)
  • Thomas Ruddle (1864-1909)
  • J.Rounsefell(1909-1932)
  • Leslie Johnson (1933-1942)
  • Jack Morris (1942-1964)
  • George Kingsnorth (1964-1983)
  • Russell Buley (1983-1997)
  • Leslie Clarke (1997-2003)
  • Robert Barnes (2003-2013)
  • Simon Weale (2013-)

The College Today[edit]


The college is small in size and has attendance of around 342 pupils as of January 2012, from ages three to 18.[1] The college is divided into three Houses that compete both academically and in sport; namely:

  • Ruddle - named after the College's most influential headmaster, Thomas Ruddle.
  • Way - named after Sir Samuel Way.
  • Thorne - named after one of the founders of the College, Samuel Thorne.

The school is also divided into houses within boarding;

  • Ruddle - The girls' boarding house - named after the College's most influential headmaster, Thomas Ruddle
  • Pollard - The senior boys' boarding house - named after the Methodist missionary and writer, Sam Pollard
  • Pyke - The junior boys' boarding house


  • The College stands in 85 acres of grounds with a mix of formal gardens, lawns, open fields and woodland.
  • Sports hall
  • Fitness Suite
  • 3 Tennis courts
  • 7 Sports Pitches
  • Floodlit astroturf

Notable former pupils[edit]

Former pupils are sometimes known as "Old Shebbearians".


External links[edit]