Felsted School

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Felsted School
Motto Garde Ta Foy
(French: Keep your Faith)
Established 1564
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Chris Townsend
Founder Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich
Location Stebbing Road
51°51′31″N 0°26′12″E / 51.8587°N 0.4367°E / 51.8587; 0.4367Coordinates: 51°51′31″N 0°26′12″E / 51.8587°N 0.4367°E / 51.8587; 0.4367
DfE number 881/6009
DfE URN 115395 Tables
Students 1000
Gender Coeducational
Ages 4–18
Colours Burgundy (Prep School) and Navy Blue (Senior School)
Former pupils Old Felstedians
Website Felsted School

Felsted School is an English co-educational day and boarding independent school, situated in Felsted, England. It is in the British Public School tradition, and was founded in 1564 by Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich. Felsted is one of the 12 founder members of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, and a full member of the Round Square Conference of world schools. Felsted School has been awarded the Good Schools Guide award twice and is regularly featured in Tatler's Schools Guide.


The 16th century school room of Felsted School.

Felsted School is an English co-educational day and boarding independent school, situated in Felsted, England. It is in the British Public School tradition, and was founded in 1564 by Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich (also known as Riche) who, as Lord Chancellor and Chancellor of the Court of Augmentations, acquired considerable wealth from the spoils of the Dissolution of the Monasteries including the nearby Leez Priory where he lives.[1]

The school became a notable educational centre for Puritan families in the 17th century, numbering a hundred or more pupils, under Martin Holbeach, Headmaster from 1627–1649, and his successors (see below). John Wallis and Isaac Barrow were educated at Felsted in this period, as were four of Oliver Cromwell's sons.

Another era of prosperity set in under the headmastership of William Trivett between 1778 and 1794; but numbers dwindled under his successors . Thomas Surridge (headmaster 1835–1850) discovered from research among the records, that a larger income was really due to the foundation, a re-organisation took place by Act of Parliament, and in 1850, under the headmastership of the Rev. Albert Henry Wratislaw, the school was put under a new governing body (a revised scheme coming into operation in 1876). Thereafter, Felsted rapidly developed into one of the regular public schools of the modern English type, under the Rev. W. S. Grignon. New buildings were built on an elaborate scale, numbers increased to more than 200, and a complete transformation took place, which was continued under Grignon's successors, like Frank Stephenson, who ordered large extensions to the buildings and playing-fields. This allowed admittance up to 475 pupils, nearly all of whom were boarders.

The school was evacuated to three Herefordshire houses near Ross-on-Wye during the Second World War at the owners invitation to be out of the way of German bombing. Most of the school was in Goodrich Court and Windsor's and Ingle's Houses occupied Hill Court Manor.

On 25 July 1953 the school's Combined Cadet Force armoury was raided by the Irish Republican Army (1922–69), making off with 8 Bren guns, 12 Sten guns, an anti-tank gun, a mortar and 109 rifles. Their van was stopped by a police patrol and Cathal Goulding, Sean Stephenson, later known as Seán Mac Stíofáin and Manus Canning each received 8 years in prison.[2]

Major building works took place for the 400th anniversary celebrations in 1964, when the Queen Mother laid the foundation stone for the then new Music School,[3] subsequently opened by Felsted governor Lord Butler of Saffron Walden, (formerly Rab Butler). In 2008 this building was replaced by a larger new building which was opened in 2009 by Dame Evelyn Glennie. The Princess Royal opened the new Lord Riche Hall in 1989. Girls were taken into the Sixth Form in 1970, and into the whole school in 1993.

21st century[edit]

In July 2012 part of the school was devastated by fire[4] after a blaze broke out in the roof and first floor of Follyfield House, one of the girls' boarding houses. The school term had ended but about 25 students and staff from a summer school were on site and evacuated. Nobody was injured. The school reopened as normal in September, with a new, temporary house situated next to the Lord Riche Hall. Soon after, an all new state-of-the-art boarding house was built in a different location, nearer to Gepp's & Deacon's houses, and opened as planned in September 2014.[citation needed]

On 6 May 2014, the school was visited by reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II to mark the 450th anniversary of Felsted School. She unveiled plaques for the visit as well as the officially opening of the newly constructed Follyfield House.[5][6]

Fees in 2017/2018 range from £22,725 per year for a day pupil to £34,275 per year for full boarding.[7]


Felsted is one of the 12 founder members of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference,[8] and a member of the Round Square Conference of world schools.[9] Felsted School has been awarded the Good Schools Guide award twice and is regularly featured in Tatler's Schools Guide.[10]


Garnett's House.

Girls' boarding houses are Stocks' [11] Follyfield[12] (referred to as 'Follies') Garnetts[13] and Thorne[14]

Boys' boarding houses are Elywn's[15] Gepp's[16] Deacon's[17] and Windsor's.[18]

There are two day houses, Manor[19] and Montgomery's.[20] (referred to as 'Monts')


  • 1564–1566 – Rev. John Daubeney
  • 1566–1576 – Rev. John Berryman, MA (1534-1617)
  • 1576–1596 – Rev. Henry Greenwood, MA (1544-1634)
  • 1597–1627 – Rev. George Manning, BA (1560-1629)
  • 1627–1649 – Rev. Martin Holbeach, MA (1600–1670)
  • 1650–1690 – Rev. Christopher Glascock, MA, OF (d. 1697)
  • 1690–1712 – Rev. Simon Lydiatt, MA (1659–1712)
  • 1712−1712 − Rev. George Timmis MA (1712-1712)
  • 1713–1725 – Rev. Hugh Hutchin, MA (1678–1725)
  • 1725–1750 – Rev. John Wyatt, MA (1698–1750)
  • 1750–1778 – Rev. William Drake, MA & FSA (1723-1801)
  • 1778–1794 – Rev. William Trivett, MA (1745–1830)
  • 1794–1813 – Rev. William John Carless, BA (1770–1813)
  • 1813–1835 – Rev. Edmund Squire, MA (1781–1853)
  • 1835–1850 – Rev. Thomas Surridge, BA (1835-1850)
  • 1850–1855 – Rev. Albert Henry Wratislaw, MA (1822–1892)
  • 1856–1875 – Rev. William Stanford Grignon, MA (1824–1907)
  • 1875–1890 – Rev. Delaval Shafto Ingram, MA (1840–1920)
  • 1890–1906 – Rev. Herbert Andrew Dalton, MA (1853-1928)
  • 1906–1933 – Rev. Frank Stephenson, MA (1871–1936)
  • 1933–1943 – Rev. Kenneth Julian Faithfull Bickersteth, Military Cross(MC) MA Honorary Chaplain to the Queen (QHC) (1885–1962)
  • 1943–1947 – Alistair Hugh Andrew MA (1908–1947)
  • 1947–1951 – Cecil Marriott Harrison, MA (1911-1986)
  • 1951–1968 – Henry Enfield Reekie, MA (1907-2000)
  • 1968–1982 – Anthony Francis Eggleston, MA, Order of the British Empire (b. 1928 )
  • 1983–1993 – Edward John Humphrey Gould MA, Royal Geographical Society, Royal Society of Arts (b. 1943)
  • 1993–2008 – Stephen Chevely Roberts, MA (b. 1956)
  • 2008–2015 – Michael John Walker, MA, PhD (b. 1956)
  • 2015–present – Christopher Townsend




  1. ^ "History and Archives". Felsted School History and archives. Felsted School. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Bishop, P, and Mallie, E. (1987). The Provisional IRA
  3. ^ Dummow Broadcast http://www.dunmowbroadcast.co.uk/news/her-majesty-the-queen-to-visit-felsted-to-celebrate-school-s-450th-anniversary-1-3567848. Retrieved 20 April 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "BBC News - Felsted School damaged by fire". BBC Online. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012. A public school in Essex has been badly damaged by a fire tackled by more than 40 firefighters. The fire started in the roof and first floor of a girls' boarding house at Felsted School, near Great Dunmow, on Sunday evening and rapidly spread. 
  5. ^ "Royal Visit - 6th May 2014 | Felsted School". www.felsted.org. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  6. ^ "The Queen and Prince Phillip visit Essex". http://www.itv.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08.  External link in |website= (help)
  7. ^ http://www.felsted.org/fees
  8. ^ "History of HMC". HMC. HMC. 
  9. ^ "Round Square Entry for Felsted School". Round Square. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Felsted School | Great Dunmow | LEA:Essex | Essex". The Good Schools Guide. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  11. ^ Stocks's
  12. ^ Follyfield
  13. ^ Garnetts
  14. ^ Thorne
  15. ^ Elywn's
  16. ^ Gepp's
  17. ^ Deacon's
  18. ^ Windsor's
  19. ^ Manor
  20. ^ Montgomery's


  • Michael Craze, Felsted School: A Short History, Felsted School, 1965.
  • Michael Craze, A History of Felsted School, 1564–1947, Cowell, 1955.
  • John Sargeaunt, History of Felsted School, 1889.
  • R.J. Beevor, E.T. Roberts, Alumni Felstedienses, 1903.
  • Anon, Felsted in Herefordshire, May, 1940 - March, 1945. (private printing, undated).

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Felsted". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 245.