Colet Court

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Colet Court
Established 1881
Type Independent school
Headmaster Tim Meunier MA, CChem FRSC
Location Barnes
SW13 9JT
Coordinates: 51°29′15″N 0°14′18″W / 51.4874°N 0.2383°W / 51.4874; -0.2383
DfE number 318/6066
Staff c.40
Students c.430
Gender Boys
Ages 7–13
Houses Ash, Beech, Oak and Thorn

Blue and Maroon


Colet Court is an independent school and preparatory school for boys aged 7 to 13 in Barnes, London. It forms the preparatory department of St Paul's School, to which most Colet Court pupils go at the age of 13.


The school was founded in 1881 (as "Bewsher's") by Samuel Bewsher, an Assistant Master of St Paul's School and secretary to the High Master. It started with 6 pupils at a house in Edith Road, West Kensington. At about this time, St Paul's School was relocated from the vicinity of St Paul's Cathedral to new buildings in nearby Hammersmith. In 1883, Bewsher's preparatory school was incorporated into the St Paul's School foundation, and moved into a new building (which still stands at 100 Hammersmith Road, W6 7JP)[1] called Colet House opposite the then St Paul's School had more than 300 pupils and had more new buildings to accommodate them completed in 1890. In 1892 it changed its name from Colet House to Colet Court. The name derives from John Colet, the original founder of St Paul's School.

When in 1968 St Paul's School moved again, to its present 45-acre (180,000 m2) site in bend of the river Thames at Barnes, Colet Court moved with it. In the 1970s the old buildings became the production base of Thames Television's Euston Films subsidiary, with standing sets for shows like The Sweeney constructed in the old gymnasium. The main building is still known as Colet Court and is an extended office building behind the façade that is a grade II listed building.[2] The replacement school buildings in Barnes are soon to be seriously redeveloped in accordance with the Colet Court and St Paul's School building project.

The present school[edit]

Colet Court now forms part of a single school campus on the Barnes site. Colet Court and St Paul's continue to function largely separately, though they do share many facilities, such as their lunch hall, sports centre, swimming pool and some sports fields.

Colet Court is an all-boys school and teaches pupils from age 7 to age 13. Entry is by examination at age 7, age 8 and age 11. Providing that a pupil is progressing normally academically, it is expected that all boys will go on to St. Paul's at age 13. There are currently about 435 pupils, who are all day boys. The current headmaster is Mr Tim Meunier (formerly of Clifton College).

The Tatler Schools Guide says that Colet Court:

"attracts boys who are naturally gifted and hardworking (half-term holidays are cheekily called 'remedies'). Colet Court is one of the strongest London preps for games and arguably the best for music. Alongside Westminster it is the top boys' prep in the capital."


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, was originally commissioned for and performed by the boys (both orchestra and singers) of Colet Court. The first performance in its original form as a 15-minute "pop cantata" took place in the Old Assembly Hall of Colet Court in Hammersmith on 1 March 1968. The second performance, also involving Colet Court boys, was on 12 May 1968 at Central Hall, Westminster. This was picked up by a reviewer for the Sunday Times. The third performance, of a now expanded version, was at St Paul's Cathedral on 9 November 1968. The first recording was released in 1969, and remained in the US charts for three months, since when the piece has been performed commercially all over the world and re-recorded on disc and on video. It has been performed again at Colet Court as the annual school play several times, most recently in 2004.


Name Years as Headmaster
J Bewsher 1887-1929
LC Smith 1929-1933
AN Evans 1934-1944
HA Clutton Brock 1944-1946
JEL Pepys 1946-1955
LF Robinson 1955-1956
HJG Collis 1957-1973
WNJ Howard 1973-1992
GJ Thompson 1992-2007
Tim A Meunier 2007-

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

[[Category:1881 establishments in England]