Old Buckenham Hall School

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Old Buckenham Hall School
Established 1862
Type Preparatory day and boarding
Headmaster Tom O'Sullivan[1]
Chairman of Governors Nick Bullen
Founders Ellen and Margaret Ringer
Location Brettenham
52°08′23″N 0°51′31″E / 52.1397°N 0.8585°E / 52.1397; 0.8585Coordinates: 52°08′23″N 0°51′31″E / 52.1397°N 0.8585°E / 52.1397; 0.8585
DfE number 935/6019
DfE URN 124873 Tables
Students 216[1]
Gender Coeducational
Ages 3–13[1]
Houses Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn
Colours Navy Blue     
Publication The OBH Magazine
Website www.obh.co.uk

Old Buckenham Hall School (commonly known as OBH[by whom?]) is a day and boarding preparatory school for boys and girls in the village of Brettenham, Suffolk, England.[2]

Founded in 1862, the school currently accommodates about 120 boys and 70 girls between the ages of 2 and 13 years.[3]

Present school[edit]

Old Brettenham Hall School

The School is currently split into the three parts;

  • Nursery (ages 3–4)
  • Pre-Prep School (Reception – year 2)
  • Prep School (Years 3–8)

The school is located in a grade II* listed building in about 80 acres (320,000 m2) of parkland in the Suffolk village of Brettenham. It was previously inhabited by the Warner Family, including Courtenay Warner. Its pupils take the Common Entrance exam, going on to a range of public schools such as Uppingham, Oundle, Rugby, Framlingham College and further afield.


The school was founded as a boys school in 1862 by Misses Ellen and Margaret Ringer in the Suffolk coastal town of Lowestoft under the name 'South Lodge Preparatory School'. The school remained there for 75 years before moving to much larger premises at Old Buckenham Hall in the village of Old Buckenham, Norfolk. Here the school really started to grow. In December 1952, disaster struck and the Hall was burnt down by fire. In January of the following year the school found new premises at Merton Hall near Thetford, Norfolk. Here the school tried to pick up the pieces and get back on track but disaster struck again with a second fire in January 1956. The school's survival was seriously put in question and several possibilities were discussed as to what to do next. In short, the school became aware that Brettenham Park in Suffolk had come onto the market and the property was acquired. The school (now known as Old Buckenham Hall School) moved in September 1956 and soon became well established. The school has been on this site ever since, first taking on girls in the 1990s.[4] The current Headmaster is Tom O'Sullivan, who has recently joined OBH from Mowden Hall where he was Deputy Head.

Sports and activities[edit]

The school makes use of its many sports pitches and facilities including 3 rugby pitches, 2 football pitches,5 football and 6 hockey pitches, 5 cricket squares, 6 tennis courts, all-weather netball courts, a 2,000-yard (1,800 m) nine-hole golf course and an outdoor heated swimming pool. Pupils spend 5 (of 6) afternoons a week playing games. Pupils at OBH play a wide variety of sports including: rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis, football, athletics, gymnastics, Cross country running, golf, swimming and netball

Being a predominantly day and transitional boarding school, the school offers a wide range of activities for the pupils including: archery, sailing and clay-pigeon shooting.

Notable former pupils[edit]


External links[edit]