King's College, Taunton

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King's College
Established 1880
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Richard Biggs
Founder Canon Nathaniel Woodard
Location South Road
United Kingdom
51°00′40″N 3°05′46″W / 51.0110°N 3.0960°W / 51.0110; -3.0960Coordinates: 51°00′40″N 3°05′46″W / 51.0110°N 3.0960°W / 51.0110; -3.0960
DfE URN 123912 Tables
Students 454
Gender Co-educational
Ages 13–18
Houses 7
Colours Red, Dark blue, Gold
Publication Aluredian
Former pupils Old Aluredians
Affiliation Woodard Corporation

King's College is an independent co-educational secondary day and boarding school in Taunton, Somerset, England. A member school of the Woodard Corporation, it has approximately 450 pupils aged 13 to 18, including about 300 boarders. Its affiliated prep school is King's Hall School. The head of the school is currently Richard Biggs, who started his first academic year in the winter of 2007.


King's College Taunton was founded in 1880. The building was designed by Charles Edmund Giles and built between 1867 and 1869. A new chapel followed in 1903 designed by W. E. Tower. It has been designated as a Grade II listed building.[1]

Benjamin Disraeli stood for MP in Taunton, and many of his early political appearances took place on what is currently the school's 1st XV Rugby pitch. After the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1936, Emperor Haile Selassie I fled in exile to Bath. During his stay in the UK many of his younger children went to King's College, and the Emperor himself distributed the awards at the end of every academic year.[2] The school purchased Pyrland Hall in the 1950s which now houses the King's Hall School co-educational prep school. Many of the boarding houses still hold trophies related to now defunct activities on which is it inscribed that that particular prize was handed out by Haile Selassie. A portrait of the emperor once hung in the main school building. Before the General Election in 1964, the Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, addressed a public meeting at the school.

The School became co-educational in the very early 1970s (in that it admitted females into the Sixth Form). It currently has seven boarding houses: Bishop Fox, King Alfred, Woodard (After Nathaniel Woodard) Tuckwell (after William Tuckwell,[3] Meynell, Taylor and Carpenter. All these houses, plus Neates, which no longer exists, were male boarding houses until the early 1990s, when Meynell converted to become the first all female boarding house. Taylor house was later founded as a female boarding house. Carpenter became a female boarding house in the mid-1990s. Until the conversion to full coeducational status, Sixth Form girls were assigned to one of the male boarding houses but lived in separate accommodation.

The transition to full co-educational status caused some controversy amongst the male students at the time, particularly amongst those in the boarding houses that were becoming female boarding houses. Students, who had developed a bond to their boarding houses over a number of years, were moved to other houses and many who went through the transition still consider their 'first' house to be their only house. In July 2006, two members of staff accompanied a small group of pupils who had recently left the school on a charity trip to India to construct a house for an Indian family.

In 2007, the school choir took part in a choral competition on the BBC programme Songs of Praise and came first, and in the same year the senior rugby team were victorious in The National Schools 7's. The school chapel is the venue for an annual concert by the Somerset chamber choir.[4]


  •      King Alfred
  •      Tuckwell
  •      Woodard
  •      Bishop Fox
  •      Neates (Disbanded)
  •      Carpenter
  •      Taylor
  •      Meynell

Notable students[edit]

Former students of King's College, Taunton are referred to as 'Old Aluredians'.


  1. ^ "King's College". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  2. ^ "ETHIOPIA: Distressed Negus". Time. 1937-11-15. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  3. ^ "school website: Tuckwell". 
  4. ^ "Somerset Chamber Choir past concerts". Somerset Chamber Choir. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Old Aluredian Club News Summer 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Four 'Kings' play for Somerset". Kukri. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Cricket". King's College. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Charles Ching". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Torridge and West Devon". UK polling report. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "King's Taunton". Guide to Independent Schools. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Brief for the legislative council" (PDF). Legislative Council of Hing Kong. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Dandy filth-hound". Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Bazing Saddles". Somerset Life. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Scott, Michael". Dictionary of African Christian Biography. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Juno Temple — from Enmore to Hollywood". Bridgwater Mercury. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Dominic Wood". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  17. ^,cntnt01,print,0&cntnt01articleid=24&cntnt01showtemplate=false&cntnt01returnid=29
  18. ^

External links[edit]