Kelly College

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Kelly College
Arms of Kelly of Kelly, Devon
Kelly College Landscape.jpg
TypePublic school
Independent school
Day and boarding school
MottoFortiter Occupa Portum
("Defend your harbours bravely")
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderAdmiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly
Chairman of the GovernorsRear Admiral Christopher Snow
Head MasterGraham Hawley
Age3 to 18
HousesSchool (Girls YR9-11)

Marwood (Girls Sixth Form Boarders) Russell (Girls Day Sixth Form) Courtenay (Boys Sixth Form) Newton (Boys YR9-11)

Conway (Mixed) 1st & 2nd years only
Colour(s)Navy & white    
PublicationKelly College Chronicle (Annual)
Former pupilsOld Kelleians
Virtual Houses
  • Tamar  
  • Plym  
  • Lyd  
  • Walkham  

Kelly College was a coeducational independent school in the English public school tradition situated in the outskirts of Tavistock, Devon, with around 350 students ranging from ages 3 to 18. There was an associated preparatory school for primary school children, Kelly College Preparatory School, nearby. In June 2014, the school formally merged with Mount House School to form Mount Kelly School.[1]

The college had twenty acres (eight hectares) of landscaped grounds, including playing fields, set on the edge of Dartmoor and including a stretch of the River Tavy, and four separate senior boarding houses, and a junior house, each with its own facilities.

The last headship was of Mr Mark Semmence who joined the college in 2013. The college's motto is fortiter occupa portum - "defend your harbours bravely", a quotation from Ode XIV from the first Book of Odes by Horace.(1)

It offered many extracurricular activities, such as the CCF (Combined Cadet Force) and the DofE Scheme; in addition to a wide variety of sporting activities.


The school was founded in 1877 after Admiral Benedictus Marwood Kelly left the great part of his real and personal estate to Trustees, founding a charity which he directed should be called "The Kelly College", which should be for the education of the "sons of Naval officers and other gentlemen". The school opened in October 1877, under the Headmastership of Robert West Taylor, late fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, with twelve boys on the school roll. It became co-educational in the early 1970s, initially with entrants into the Sixth Form, and in September 1991 welcomed thirty one girls into the First Form, fourteen of whom became Kelly Veterans in 1998.[2]


The School had six houses;

School house (Girls Year 9-11 boarding/day House) (founded 1877), Courtenay House (Senior Boys House boarding /day) (founded 1901), Newton House (Boys Year 9-11 boarding/day house) (founded 1939), Conway House (Junior house, 1st and 2nd form only) (founded 1975), and Marwood House (Senior Girls House) (founded 1983),

Notable attendees[edit]

"Old Kelleians"


  1. ^ "Bristol Live - latest local news, sport & business from Bristol".
  2. ^ (1) Kelly College Chronicle 1997 - 1998
  3. ^ "Rugby Union:Day of Adebayo arrives". 17 November 1996.
  4. ^ "Dawn Airey to join ITV as Director of Global Content - itvplc".
  5. ^ "Former Kelly College pupil wins silver at Paralympics". 3 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Meet the Plymouth athletes competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland". Plymouth Herald. 20 July 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  7. ^ "The unsinkable Flora Duffy".
  8. ^ "Femi Fani-Kayode Biography: All There Is To Know About Him - Nigerian Infopedia". 28 September 2016.
  9. ^ "COLSC History & Fame".
  10. ^ "Paralympic games success for HMC alumni - HMC". 15 September 2016.
  11. ^ Rod Mason ObituaryThe Guardian
  12. ^ Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "Minhinnick, Gordon Edward George".
  13. ^ "Mount Kelly swimmers gain eight medals at Rio". 27 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Mount Kelly swimmers gain eight medals at Rio". 27 September 2016.
  15. ^ Archipelago, World. "Gerald Seymour".
  16. ^ "Lauren Steadman".
  17. ^ "Obituaries:The Right Rev Mervyn Stockwood". 14 January 1995.
  18. ^ James, Peter W. (1993). "OBITUARY THOMAS DOUGLAS (DOUGAL) VICTOR SWINSCOW 10 July 1917-24 September 1992". The Lichenologist. 25 (4): 443–450. doi:10.1006/lich.1993.1008. S2CID 85577246.
  19. ^ "Air Marshal Sir Richard Wakeford".