Clayesmore School

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Clayesmore School
Clayesmore School - Main House frontage (geograph 4314568).jpg
Iwerne Minster

Blandford Forum
DT11 8LL

Coordinates50°55′53″N 2°11′47″W / 50.93142°N 2.19644°W / 50.93142; -2.19644Coordinates: 50°55′53″N 2°11′47″W / 50.93142°N 2.19644°W / 50.93142; -2.19644
TypeOther Independent School
MottoDieu premier donc mes frères
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderAlexander Devine
Local authorityDorset
Department for Education URN113912 Tables
HeadJoanne Thomson
  • Devine
  • Gate
  • Manor
  • King's
  • Wolverton

Clayesmore School is an independent school for boys and girls of the English public school tradition in the village of Iwerne Minster, Dorset, England. It is a member of The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).

The school was founded by Alexander Devine in 1896 in Enfield, Middlesex. After moving to Pangbourne, Berkshire and then to Winchester, Hampshire it finally moved to Iwerne Minster for the summer term of 1933. In 1974, it was joined on the Iwerne site by Clayesmore Preparatory School, originally Charlton Marshall School, which had been founded in 1929 by R.A.L. Everett. In the following year the school became co-educational.

As of 2016 there are 480 pupils in the senior school (ages 13–18) and 240 in the prep school (ages 3–13). The current head is Joanne Thomson. The school is situated on 62-acre (250,000 m2) campus in rural Dorset and the facilities include an astro-turf pitch, theatre, sports centre and extensive range of specialist subject facilities including an art department, science block and a business school.


For centuries the land on which Clayesmore now stands was held by Shaftesbury Abbey. After the dissolution it passed to the Bower family. Their family home was built in 1796 roughly on the site of the existing main building. In 1876 the last member of the Bower family, Captain T B Bower, sold the village and estate to George Glyn, 2nd Baron Wolverton. The Baron demolished the existing house, laid out the Iwerne estate afresh and commissioned Alfred Waterhouse to design the present building (now Wolverton House) which was completed in 1878.

In 1904 the 4th Baron Wolverton put the whole 2,612-acre (10.57 km2) estate up for sale. This was bought in 1908 by James Ismay whose father, Thomas Henry Ismay, had founded the White Star Line shipping company. On Ismay's death in January 1930 the estate was put up for sale in a number of separate lots. Clayesmore bought the main manor house and the 60 acres (240,000 m2) in which it stands and the school moved in during 1933.



The senior school is divided into five boarding houses; three for boys and two for girls. The three boys' houses are:

  • Devine
  • Gate
  • Manor

The two girls' houses are:

  • King's
  • Wolverton

Notable former pupils[edit]

Former pupils include:


External links[edit]