Monkton Combe School

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Monkton Combe School
Monkton Combe (Somerset) School Chapel - - 67831.jpg
Motto "Verbum Tuum Veritas (Thy Word is Truth)"
Established 1868
Type Independent, Boarding
Headteacher Christopher Wheeler (Senior School), Martin Davis (Prep School), Catherine Winchcombe (Pre-Prep)
Location Monkton Combe, Near Bath
51°21′25″N 2°19′37″W / 51.3569°N 2.3270°W / 51.3569; -2.3270Coordinates: 51°21′25″N 2°19′37″W / 51.3569°N 2.3270°W / 51.3569; -2.3270
Students 711 (all three schools from September 2015)

Eddystone (MSS Boys)          

Farm (MSS Boys)          

Grove Grange (MSS Boys)     

School (MSS Boys)     

Clarendon (MSS Girls)     

Nutfield (MSS Girls)     

Hatton (MPS Mixed) (Subhouses of Hatton:)

Easterfield (MPS Mixed)     

Kearns (MPS Mixed)     

Howard (MPS Mixed)     

Jameson (MPS Mixed)     
Colours Red     , White     , Blue     
Former pupils Old Monktonians

Monkton Combe School is an independent boarding and day school of the British public school tradition, near Bath, England. The Senior School is located in the village of Monkton Combe, while the Prep School, Pre-Prep and Nursery are in Combe Down on the southern outskirts of Bath. Founded in 1868, the school maintains many strong traditions with a particular emphasis on high academic and sporting achievements. The school also has a strong Christian ethos within the Anglican tradition. The school is also a member of the Rugby Group of independent schools in the United Kingdom.[1]

The Senior School (current pupil numbers are around 380) admits children from age 13 through to 18; the Prep School admits children from age 7 to 13 and the Pre-Prep has classes in Kindergarten (3 – 4), Reception (4 – 5) and Years 1 and 2 (5 – 7). The Nursery-based within the Prep School grounds provides pre-school care (ages 2 – 3). The Senior School and Prep School both have a strong boarding tradition; however, day pupils comprise one third of the intake of the Senior School and are in the majority in the Prep School. Since 1992 the school has been co-educational, having merged with Clarendon School for Girls.


The Senior School was founded in 1868[2] by the then Vicar of Monkton Combe, the Reverend Francis Pocock. The Junior School was established with four pupils in 1888 in a private house in Church Road, Combe Down [2] by a Mrs Howard (the daughter of the Senior School Principal) and moved into its current purpose-built premises in June 1907. The Pre-prep was added in 1929.[2] In 1992, the School became fully co-educational, merging with Clarendon School for Girls, Bedford. In 2006 the Junior School was renamed Monkton Prep School. The school is currently transferring its Pre-prep to a newly constructed building, sited much closer to the Prep school than the old building (Glenburnie).

The school has many historical traditions and a strong religious heritage, with particular emphasis on sporting and academic achievements, and has produced some important society figures through the years.

The official history of the school's first hundred years can be found in A Goodly Heritage: A History of Monkton Combe School 1868-1967 by A. F. Lace, published in Bath by Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1968.[3]

Sport and other activities[edit]

Monkton Combe School maintains a strong sporting tradition. Both the Senior and Junior schools have a wide range of sporting and other extra curricular activities. The main sports played are Rugby, Rowing, Hockey, Tennis and Cricket (and more recently, Football) for boys and Hockey, Netball, Rowing and Tennis for girls. A range of "minor sports" are also available (named in this way as they are generally not played competitively against other schools).

The school has produced six Olympic rowing medallists to date, each of whom represented Great Britain, and three of whom won Gold, and an Olympic Gold Medallist who represented Great Britain at men's hockey. The school's boat club is famous for being one of the most successful small clubs in the UK, and frequently competes against many of the UK's best teams. The school trains in only the Lent and Summer terms in rowing, while the Michaelmas term is dedicated exclusively to the rugby club, although pupils in the upper 6th form may make their own choice to do rowing if they wish.

The school has a strong musical and theatrical tradition with the majority of pupils learning an instrument and taking part in school plays. The school operates a big band, who regularly play at a variety of venues throughout the year. They have also been on tours to Canada and France. Other major activities include the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and various clubs and societies. There are also annual (optional) visits overseas, such as an adventure course picked each year for the 3rd Form, Skiing in Austria and a Rowing training camp in Nantes-France, as well as academic trips such as foreign language exchange trips.


The School maintains a range of sporting facilities including outdoor and indoor swimming pools, sports halls with fully equipped gyms, three astroturf pitches (two full size and one half size), nine grass and three hard tennis courts, a boathouse with access to the River Avon and many acres of grounds. All buildings are made of Bath stone, in the same style as many buildings in and around the city of Bath, in order to keep with the traditional architectural style around Bath.

Several of the buildings are listed, including the main Senior school block known as The Old Farm,[4] and the part of the Terrace Block known as The Old Vicarage.[5] In 2008 the Senior School completed a 5 million pound project which involved re-building, extending and re-furbishing its Mathematics and Science departments. In June 2012, a new 3.2 million pound Music centre was opened for use by Dame Felicity Lott.


Many of the pupils are either weekly or full-time boarders. The Senior school maintains six boarding houses, two of which are for girls (Nutfield and Clarendon) and four for boys (Grove-Grange, Eddystone, School and Farm). The Preparatory school only operates one boarding house with a floor for boys and a floor for girls (Hatton). There are many strong traditions in each house, as well as many inter-house competitions throughout the year. Students are allowed to visit the City of Bath each weekend. Lessons take place on Saturday mornings with sporting matches against other schools taking place on most Saturday afternoons.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ monktoncombeschool. com
  2. ^ a b c "History". Mokton Combe School. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  3. ^ "Senior School History". Monkton Combe School. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  4. ^ "Monkton Combe School, the main or old block known as The Old Farm". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  5. ^ "Monkton Combe School, the part of the Terrace Block known as The Old - Vicarage". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  6. ^ David Ellis (17 May 1994). "Obituary: David Adeney". The Independent Features. p. 14. 
  7. ^ "The Right Reverend Ian Cundy". The Daily Telegraph. London. 2009-05-11. 
  8. ^ Secretary, Office of the Home; Sciences, National Academy of (2003-11-21). Biographical Memoirs. National Academies Press. ISBN 9780309527699. 
  9. ^ Burgess, Kaya (2008-12-22). "Adrian Mitchell Shadow Poet Laureate dies aged 76". The Times. London. 
  10. ^ L, Klemen (1999–2000). "Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Edmund Charles Peirse". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 
  11. ^ p.9.

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