|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2011)|
|Motto||"Non scholae, sed vitae discimus" (Latin: We Learn Not For School But For Life)|
Independent Boarding & Day
|Chairman of Governors||Peter Wilcox-Jones|
|Founder||David & Guinevere Holbache|
|Location||Upper Brook Street
|DfE URN||123613 Tables|
|Houses||Burnaby, Donne, Oswald and Spooner|
|Patron||The Earl of Powis|
|School song||"Gaude plebs redemptionis"|
|Former pupils||Old Oswestrians|
Oswestry School is a co-educational independent school, located in Oswestry, Shropshire, England. Founded in 1407 by David Holbache, Member of Parliament for Shropshire and Shrewsbury, and his wife Gwenhwyfar ferch Ieuan, it is one of the county's oldest schools. It is the oldest non-denominational school in England as many other public schools of the time were established or affiliated with the Church of England.
The senior school is located on Upper Brook Street and the junior school is based at Bellan House on Church Street. Bellan House Preparatory School was a completely separate institution until its amalgamation in the 1970s.
The original school building, dating from 1407, is also on Church Street and is currently used as the town's visitor and information centre.
Established in the ancient half-timbered building close to the Parish Church of St. Oswald in 1407, the School later attracted the attention of Queen Elizabeth I and Oliver Cromwell; the former gave to the School an endowment of "forty shillings per annum" to help with its running, and the latter dismissed the headmaster at the time for being a "delinquent" (too "Royalist"). Early archive records show that a small percentage of the subsidised school-fees was set aside to pay for cock fighting, the pupil entertainment of that time.
Changes to the governance of the School in the mid-seventeenth century saw a gradual transition from the lay trustees to a group of lay and clerical governors headed by the Bishop of St Asaph, who, from that time on, would appoint the Headmaster. Henceforth, these would be ordained men, a tradition which would extend into the twentieth century.
Increasing numbers in the mid-eighteenth century meant a move for the School to its present site on land next to the battlefield where, in 642 AD King Oswald was defeated by King Penda. The Georgian building was constructed in 1776 on land leased (and later bought) from a local landed aristocrat. Its closest neighbour, the neo-Gothic Victorian chapel, built in 1863, stands looking across at St. Oswald’s Maes-y-llan battlefield, now the School’s extensive playing-fields.
A major change took place in 1972: with the admission of girls, the School became co-educational. Shortly after this, the local pre-preparatory school, Bellan House, was taken over, thereby eventually allowing the School to offer education spanning the widest possible range – now 4 years up to 18. Previously, Oswestry School solely admitted boys.
Notable Old Oswestrians
Some notable pupils and staff of the school include:
- Thomas Bray
- Frederick Gustavus Burnaby
- John Freeman Milward Dovaston
- Peter Edwards
- Paul Jerricho
- Major Charles Ingram
- Alexander Jones (1854–1878), former Wales international footballer, who was killed in a shooting accident on board a train.
- Edward Lhuyd
- Philip Llewellin
- Charles Moses
- Goronwy Owen (poet)
- John Godfrey Parry-Thomas
- Richard Kyrke Penson
- Thomas Mainwaring Penson
- Ivor Roberts-Jones
- William Archibald Spooner
- Hamilton Verschoyle
- William Worthington
- Digby Owen (footballer)
- "Oswestry Visitor and Exhibition Centre". Oswestry Town Council. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- A Short Introduction to the History of Owestry School
- "Six centuries of school history". Shropshire Star. 23 January 2007.
- "Alexander Fletcher Jones: 1854–1878". Historic Redland. Redland Parish Church. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "ANTIQUE SILVER PLATE GOBLET TROPHY DIGBY OWEN OSWESTRY SCHOOL WELSH FOOTBALLER". Retrieved 11 April 2014.