Hardenhuish School

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Hardenhuish School
Hardenhuish School Logo.jpg
Hardenhuish Lane

, ,
SN14 6RJ

Coordinates51°28′11″N 2°07′40″W / 51.469802°N 2.127803°W / 51.469802; -2.127803Coordinates: 51°28′11″N 2°07′40″W / 51.469802°N 2.127803°W / 51.469802; -2.127803
Mottoinspired to learn, supported to succeed
Department for Education URN136296 Tables
Head teacherLisa Percy
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)Green and gold
Former nameChippenham Grammar School
Websitewww.hardenhuish.wilts.sch.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Hardenhuish School (formerly Chippenham Grammar School and Chippenham Girls' High School) is a large mixed secondary school and sixth form in Chippenham, Wiltshire, for students aged 11 to 18. Since September 2010, it has been an Academy. It is one of three in Chippenham, the others being Abbeyfield and Sheldon. The school is headed by Lisa Percy. It is situated in the northern zone of Hardenhuish Park on the Hardenhuish Lane. The Great Western Ambulance Service HQ is nearby to the east, and Sheldon School nearby to the south.

The main school building is the former Hardenhuish House, which is Grade II* listed for its architectural merit.[1]


Earliest records[edit]

In 854AD, documents record the settlement known as Hardenhuish on the north-west side of Chippenham. The name probably derives from the family holding of one Herejeard', who occupied the land.

In 1066, the Domesday survey establishes the owner as Arnulf who held it before this date. The medieval manor house and church were situated on the flat land which now form Sheldon School's playing fields.

18th century[edit]

In 1707, the Colborne family purchased the estate and selected a new site for a fine Georgian house, Hardenhuish House, on higher ground to the north, built in 1773 to 1774.

In 1777, Joseph Colborne, of Hardenhuish became Sheriff of Wiltshire.

In 1779, Joseph Colborne, decided that a new church should also be erected on higher ground to the west of his new Georgian house. Dedicated to Saint Nicholas, it was designed by the famous Bath architect John Wood and is supposed to contain recycled material from the earlier church.

19th century[edit]

In 1822, the Clutterbuck family bought the Hardenhuish estate.

In 1826, Thomas Clutterbuck, of Hardenhuish became Sheriff of Wiltshire.

In 1854, Edmund Lewis Clutterbuck, of Hardenhuish became Sheriff of Wiltshire.

From 1875 a private venture grammar school existed in Chippenham, conducted in St. Mary Street by a Mr. Wilson and from 1883 by Mr. Cruikshank.[2]

In 1891 the Technical Instruction Acts (1889 & 1891) provided financial assistance[3] for evening classes in various science and arts subjects. Earlier voluntary classes that had existed were now coordinated, and this became the beginning of a national system of technical education. Subjects included Shorthand, Animal Physiology, Chemistry, Physics, Hygiene, Carpentry and Dressmaking.

In 1893, Edward Newall Tuck was appointed by the Education Committee of the Borough of Chippenham to organise technical classes in Chippenham and district. Classes were held in rented premises at No. 21 London Road and at the Jubilee Institute, as well as villages including Grittleton and Yatton Keynell. Teachers from elementary schools attended classes in a School of Art on Saturdays at the Jubilee Institute. Tuck, in addition, gave talks on Wiltshire history and nature study, he also served as town councillor and was Mayor of Chippenham from 1931 to 1932.

In 1894, pupils were not admitted to classes until they reached the age of 11. Pupils from day schools were admitted free from aged 11 to 16. The fees at this time were fixed at 6d per month, the whole expenses of the school being met by fees and grants from the Science and Art Department and the County Council. Higher grade classes for boys, including Woodwork and Chemistry, were held at No. 21 London Road.

John Coles[edit]

In 1896, under the provisions of the Technical and Industrial Institutions Act (1892), the Borough of Chippenham established the Chippenham and District County School,[4] subsequently known as the Chippenham County Secondary School for Boys and Girls, with Tuck as the first headmaster (He would remain in this post until 1939). The first Chair of Governors was former mayor Alderman John Coles.[5]
The premises were still located at No. 21 London Road and the Jubilee Institute. As the tenancy of the private venture school was to end on 25 March 1896, the Town Council paid Cruikshank £10 for the desks, books and goodwill of his school. Boys were drawn from three elementary schools in Chippenham, the British, National and St. Paul's Schools. In addition twelve boys had previously attended the private grammar school. Others were from other private schools in Chippenham, Corsham, Devizes, Calne and surrounding villages. 39 boys aged 11 to 16 were on the admission register from 13 April 1896. The curriculum included Latin, French, Science, History, Geography, Grammar, Book-keeping, Shorthand, Arithmetic, Writing, Geometry and Freehand Drawing.[2]

In September 1898, a girls' school was established, against some opposition, in the Temperance Hall, Foghamshire. 22 girls were admitted at opening, from the schools of Mrs. Parry (Market Place), Miss Alexander (Monkton Hill), Mrs. White (Marshfield Road), from private tuition and from local National and British schools.

20th century[edit]

On 24 September 1900, the Chippenham District County School opened in Cocklebury Lane, now part of Wiltshire College, (built on an acre of land purchased in 1896 by the County, Urban and Rural District Councils). The ceremony was attended by the Mayor and Aldermen of Chippenham. In addition to Mr. Edward Newall Tuck the headmaster, the staff included three masters and one mistress, there were 99 pupils. The total cost of the project was £6,000.[6] In addition to the buildings and playground, four acres of adjoining land were rented for playing fields. All day classes were consolidated here and pupil numbers increased rapidly.[2]

On 1 May 1901 the decision was taken by the Governors for the school to become a Science School. 4 scholarships were granted to 3 female and 1 male students. In July it was decided to establish a centre for pupil-teachers at the school.

In 1902, local education authorities were established and Wiltshire County Council became responsible for education in Chippenham.

Latin was omitted from the curriculum.

By 1904 there were 101 pupils, 50 from urban and 51 from rural areas. In addition 49 pupil teachers were attending, 9 from urban and the remainder from rural schools, and the evening classes had 139 pupils.

From 1905 girls from elementary schools attended Cookery classes at the Cocklebury Road site.

In 1906, Sir Gabriel Goldney, 2nd Baronet, CVO, CB of Hardenhuish Park became Sheriff of Wiltshire.

By October 1907 the school had 128 pupils, 64 boys and 64 girls. The age of admission was 9, and the leaving age 17 to 18.
In addition to the yearly fees paid by pupils the school was financed by County and Government grants.[7]

In 1908 the fees were £5 5s. 0d. a year, including books. However, there were a number of scholarships available and figures for the year show that of 115 pupils, 66 girls and 49 boys, 57 held scholarships, one a free place, and only 57 were fee-payers.

The interwar years[edit]

In 1922, the school received further County and Government grants.[8]

In the interwar years, numbers of pupils on roll increased steadily, and by 1929 there were 262. The Junior department was reorganised as a Kindergarten and Preparatory Form, catering for 61 children aged 8 to 10. However, the number of pupils over the age of 16 was proportionally small in comparison with the average for Wiltshire Grammar Schools, consequently there was no discrete sixth form, although a small number of pupils did progress to University, some with the aid of County Scholarships.

By the early 1930s the buildings were presenting difficulties of overcrowding.

By 1935 pupil numbers had reached 288, Hardenhuish Park was purchased from the Clutterbuck family by Wiltshire County Council in order to implement the educational requirements of the growing town.

Grammar School[edit]

In 1938, the Secondary Grammar School moved from Cocklebury Road to new buildings (since demolished), erected on the east side of Hardenhuish House.[9] The old Manor House became the headmaster's room, the school library and some classrooms.[2] The new school extended over 40 acres of Hardenhuish Park, and the new buildings contained a hall, gymnasium, laboratories, classrooms, and cloakrooms.

In 1939, the Preparatory department closed. By 1940 there were 414 pupils, of whom 25 were evacuees, 10 percent were under the age of 11 and, still, only 2 percent over 16.

The Cocklebury Road premises became Chippenham County Secondary Modern School, a senior mixed school taking children aged 11 and over from the primary schools of Chippenham and district.

In late 1940, early 1941 the school took in a large number of evacuees from Wanstead, East London, who had already spent a year in Gloucester. A field next to school housed a camp occupied by soldiers of the 4th Armored Division[10] and 11th Armored Division,[11] whose headquarters were at Lackham House and Manor.[12] Close relations developed between these troops and the school.

Post WWII[edit]

Following the war, there was a steady increase in the numbers of pupils and additional buildings were constructed. The catchment area of the school covered the triangle between Chippenham, Corsham and Melksham.

In 1956, with pupil number at 547, (102 of these in the Sixth Form), constant growth of the area saw the major development of a new secondary modern school for girls to the south of Hardenhuish Church
On 28 September, the new Girls' High School opened. These buildings now form part of Hardenhuish School.[2]
The Headmistress, Miss E. Denne, had 486 pupils in her charge.

In 1958, a field was purchased at the Folly to enable an approach road to be made to serve the new secondary schools.

Chippenham Boys' High School[edit]

In 1959, a secondary modern, Chippenham Boys' High School, was constructed lower down Hardenhuish Park. These buildings now form part of Sheldon School.

In 1960, more Grammar School buildings were erected behind Hardenhuish House due to the continual growth of Chippenham. The school began to admit 120 instead of 90 each year.
The three schools occupied some 40 acres of Hardenhuish Park and some 2,000 boys and girls attended from the Borough and from the district within a radius of about 8 miles.

In 1966, the Grammar School and the Girls' High School integrated with the Chippenham Secondary Modern Schools in a semi-comprehensive system with all 11- to 13-year-old boys and girls being educated on the Hardenhuish site.


In 1975, the three existing schools were merged into two comprehensive schools, under the names Hardenhuish and Sheldon. Hardenhuish was made up of the old Grammar School and Girls' High School buildings, spanning right across the old Hardenhuish estate and comprising seven blocks.[2]

The 1975 Chippenham development plan stated, "Two mixed 8 form entry comprehensive schools each to accommodate 1,200 pupils aged 11 to 18, with 200 in each school sixth form additionally, to be formed on the campus at Hardenhuish by merging the existing three schools. The Boys’ High School to have additional classrooms and accommodation for girls. The Girls’ High School and the Chippenham School to be merged into one school".

Hardenhuish would serve the northern and western areas of Chippenham and adjacent villages. Sheldon would take pupils from the southern and eastern areas of the town and adjacent villages.

In September 1975 Hardenhuish School opened as a comprehensive school in the Grammar School and Girls’ High School buildings, and renamed to reflect the school having become coeducational.

A £2 million capital building project over the last decade has transformed the learning environment.[13]

Completed in 2003, the new Technology Centre began the first phase, soon followed by the new Sports Hall with climbing wall, the new English and Performing Arts Centre, and the extensively redeveloped Science and Maths Centres.[13] The school was awarded Specialist School Status as a Mathematics and Computing College.

The most recent, completed in 2009, a new two-storey Sixth Form Centre, has given Hardenhuish some of the most impressive facilities in the county.,[13] in April the school added a second specialism in Science.


In September 2010, Hardenhuish converted to academy status, becoming one of the first converter academies.[14]

Academic performance[edit]

Hardenhuish received the tenth highest A-level average results for comprehensives in Wiltshire at the end of the 2009/2010 school year.[15] As well as expertise in the specialisms of Mathematics & Computing and Science, Hardenhuish has received many awards over recent years, some of which are the ICT Mark in 2010, designated a Lead School for Gifted & Talented learners, and the International School Award every year since 2010.[16] In its 2008 Ofsted report, Hardenhuish was judged to be "outstanding".[17]

Notable alumni[edit]

Chippenham Grammar School[edit]


  1. ^ Historic England, "Hardenhuish House (Chippenham Grammar School) (1268100)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 9 February 2016
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Wiltshire Community History". Wiltshire County Council. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Chippenham District County School (S 8460): Sale of property – Order (Ref: ED 27/5268)". The National Archives.
  4. ^ "Chippenham District County School (S 8460): Proposed appropriation of sum from… (Ref: ED 27/5269)". The National Archives.
  5. ^ Staff reporter (30 April 2012). "Salute to the man behind Chippenham's John Coles park". Gazette and Herald.
  6. ^ "Chippenham District County School (S 8460): Endowed Schools Scheme for administration of… (Ref: ED 27/5270)". The National Archives.
  7. ^ "Chippenham District County School (S.8460): Scheme 14th July, 1909 (Ref: ED 35/2686)". The National Archives.
  8. ^ "Chippenham District County School (S 8460): Charitable Trusts Scheme 1922 (Ref: ED 27/8728)". The National Archives.
  9. ^ "Chippenham Secondary School (formerly Chippenham District County School) (S.8460) (Ref: ED 35/6392)". The National Archives.
  10. ^ "Bimps War: Friendly Allies and the Home Front". BBC – WW2 People's War. 23 March 2005.
  11. ^ Dan O'Brien. "41st Cavalry". The 11th Armored Division Legacy Group.
  12. ^ Tony Pratt. "The Manor of Lackham, A Short History" (PDF). Lackham House. pp. 17–19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  13. ^ a b c "Hardenhuish School - Editorial" (PDF). Government Initiatives IQ.
  14. ^ "Hardenhuish School - Profile". Government Initiatives IQ.
  15. ^ "Wiltshire: GCSE and A-level results for 2009–2010". The Guardian. 12 January 2011.
  16. ^ "Eteach Awards Gallery".
  17. ^ "2008 Ofsted Inspection Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2012.
  18. ^ "ATHLETICS: Games call has David on top of the world". Gazette and Herald. 21 July 2011.
  19. ^ Reva Klein (3 January 2002). "John Eggleston". The Guardian.
  20. ^ "Roland Freeman". The Daily Telegraph. 4 August 2011. (subscription required)
  21. ^ Paul Harris
  22. ^ "Christopher Hinton (1901–1983)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31237. Archived from the original on 26 September 2013.
  23. ^ Peter Jones (22 March 1999). "Obituary: Professor Trevor Saunders". The Independent.
  24. ^ Barley Roscoe (2004). "Frederick Arthur "Robin" Tanner". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. (subscription required)

External links[edit]