Ludgrove School

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Ludgrove School logo.svg
Motto Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est
(Knowledge in itself is power)
Established 1892
Type Independent preparatory boarding school
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Simon Barber
Chairman of the Governors Philip Edey QC
Founder Arthur Dunn
Location Ludgrove
RG40 3AB
Coordinates: 51°24′00″N 0°49′34″W / 51.400°N 0.826°W / 51.400; -0.826
DfE number 872/6002
Staff 50
Students 200
Gender Boys
Ages 8–13
Colours Blue and white          
Former pupils Old Ludgrovians

Ludgrove School is an independent preparatory boarding school for 200 boys, aged eight years to thirteen. It is situated in the civil parish of Wokingham Without, adjoining the town of Wokingham in the English county of Berkshire. Aside from certain cathedral schools, it is one of the few remaining single-sex full boarding preparatory schools in the country.

Founded at Cockfosters in 1892, in 1937 the school moved to its present site at Wokingham, which had previously been occupied by the former Wixenford School, closed in 1934.


Ludgrove Hall, c. 1900. The former home of Francis Bevan and subsequently the first home of Ludgrove School.
Ludgrove Hall in 2015.

The school was founded in 1892 by Arthur Dunn in north London. Dunn, a footballer, recruited a number of sportsmen to assist him as masters and was succeeded, on his premature death, by two England international football captains, G.O. Smith and William Oakley, who became joint headmasters.

Ex-pupil Alistair Horne wrote an unflattering account of his time at the school in the 1930s in which he described "humbug, snobbery and rampant, unchecked bullying" which he thought was intended to toughen the boys up.[1]

In 1937 the school was moved from Cockfosters to its present location at Wixenford, Wokingham, taking over the buildings of the former Wixenford School.[2] Alan Barber, a well known cricketer, was headmaster for many years. The school business was turned into a charitable trust in 1972, and Barber's son Gerald—together with Nichol Marston—became joint headmasters. In July 2004, Marston retired. In 2008, Ludgrove's headmasters were Sid Inglis and Gerald Barber's son Simon. In July 2013, Inglis left the school to take up a headship at Elstree School.

In 2004, Ludgrove was the victim of an arson attack which caused over £100,000 in damage to the school's athletics facilities.[3]

The school today[edit]

The school buildings include a private chapel, two science laboratories, a music school, specialist art, carpentry, pottery, information technology departments,a gymnasium and theatre. Its extensive sporting facilities include a 9-hole golf course, a swimming pool, two fives courts, two squash courts, four tennis courts, and around eleven football/rugby/hockey/cricket pitches, all set in 150 acres (0.61 km2) of school land.

The fees are £8,300 per term.[4] The average class size varies and reduces to around thirteen students as the boys get older. Most of the boys move on to independent schools such as Radley College, Eton College and Harrow School.[5]

Notable Old Ludgrovians[edit]

Notable masters[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Richard Barber. The Story of Ludgrove. Guidon Publishing, 2004, pp304. ISBN 0-9543617-2-5


  1. ^ Horne, Alistair (2012). A bundle from Britain. Macmillan. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4472-3177-6. 
  2. ^ Donald P. Leinster-Mackay, The Rise of the English Prep School (1984), p. 154
  3. ^ "Ludgrove school faces [pounds sterling]100,000 bill after arson attack.". The Evening Standard (London). 14 June 2004. Retrieved 9 August 2011. Ludgrove school, alma mater of Princes William and Harry, was the subject of a devastating arson attack on Friday night when its [pounds sterling]100,000 cricket pavilion was destroyed and [pounds sterling]10,000 worth of equipment went up in flames ... It seems that embittered locals in Berkshire are responsible for the fire at the 130-year-old pavilion. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Ludgrove". Tatler (Conde Nast). 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. All schools peddle that ‘one big, happy family’ cliché, but it really does hold true here: Ludgrove turns out well-rounded boys, threequarters of whom bounce on to Eton, Harrow and Radley 
  6. ^ "Yugo-Slavian Boy Prince", The Citizen (Gloucester), 9 May 1935, p. 8. British Newspaper Archive. Retrieved 11 January 2016. (subscription required)
  7. ^ "The Duke of Cambridge". biographic sketch. The British Monarchy (UK government). 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. Prince William is the elder son of The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales ... From September 1990, The Prince attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire, for five years until 5 July 1995. 
  8. ^ "Prince Harry". biographic sketch. The British Monarchy (UK government). 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. In 1989 Prince Harry joined Prince William at Wetherby School, moving to Ludgrove School in Berkshire in September 1992. 
  9. ^ "The Peter Ainsworth MP in British Socialists Party Directory". biographic sketch. UK Political Parties Directory. Retrieved 10 August 2011. Peter Michael Ainsworth was born in 1956. He was educated at Ludgrove, Wokingham; Bradfield College, Berkshire, and Lincoln College ... 
  10. ^ "Peter Ainsworth: Electoral History and Profile". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2011. School: Ludgrove, Wokingham 
  11. ^ Introduction Words as Weapons ISBN 0-86091-527-1
  12. ^ Obituary of Nick Pretzlik by Robin Allen in The Guardian newspaper, London, August 19, 2004 (accessed 1 November 2007)

External links[edit]