Pierrepont School, Frensham

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Pierrepont School, Frensham
Motto A posse ad esse
(From possibility to actuality)
Established 1947
Closed 1993
Type Independent
Religion Church of England[citation needed]
Location Frensham
GU10 3DN
United Kingdom
51°09′43″N 0°47′56″W / 51.162°N 0.799°W / 51.162; -0.799Coordinates: 51°09′43″N 0°47′56″W / 51.162°N 0.799°W / 51.162; -0.799
Gender Boys, co-educational from 1983
Former pupils Old Pierrepontians

Pierrepont School, Frensham, originally known as Pierrepont House School, was a private school in Surrey, England, with day pupils as well as boarders. Founded in 1947 as a school for boys, it became co-educational in 1983 and closed in 1993.


Pierrepont House School was founded in 1947 as an independent school for boys by its first headmaster, Thomas Joyce Parry. The following year Parry established a school Combined Cadet Force, with himself as its commanding officer, and became known in the school as 'Major Parry'. He had served in the British Army in both the 1st and 2nd World War. This distinguished him from his son Thomas Parry who joined the staff after returning to England in 1947 after serving in India as an officer in the 4th Battalion the 9th Gurkha Rifles.[citation needed] The CCF, or 'Corps', became the heart of the school's ethos. In 1970 the original Army section was joined by a Royal Air Force section and in 1983 by a Royal Navy section.[1]

The school's main building was a 19th-century country house designed by the architect Richard Norman Shaw around an earlier house. In 1973 this was listed as Grade II*.[2]

The school's aim for its boys – and for its girls from 1983 onwards – was to give them a good all-round education while developing character through sports and other outdoor activities, and its syllabus included adventure training, leadership, and personal survival.[1] Like most British independent schools, it was divided into houses, all with names recalling military history: Agincourt, Trafalgar, and Waterloo.[3] Day houses took the names of men associated with the school's architecture and design: initially there were two, Shaw and Coombe Houses, and later a third day house, Birch, was added.[citation needed]

In the late 1980s the school ran into financial difficulties. In 1989 it took over St George's Preparatory School, Farnham, and at about the same time built a new craft, technology and design centre, but these added to its financial problems.[1]

In the economic downturn of the 1990s, parental opinion lost confidence in the school's focus on character-building at the expense of academic studies. In 1992, in an article entitled "The public schools that come bottom", The Independent reported that -

Pierrepont School charges £1,517 per term for day pupils and £2,523 for boarders. It has a strong Combined Cadet Force and warns that those 'caught smoking cannabis on the premises might expect expulsion'. Its results put it in England's bottom five, averaging 1.5 A-levels".[4]

The school closed in 1993.[1] Pierrepont School Trust Limited, an educational charity connected with the school, was created in 1966 and dissolved in 1996.[5]

The school's former premises were bought by Ellel Ministries International and became the home of the new Ellel Pierrepont Centre.[6]


The school's motto, a posse ad esse, is drawn from the Latin philosophical principle "Ab esse ad posse valet, a posse ad esse non valet consequentia", meaning "It is valid to conclude from actuality to possibility, but not from possibility to actuality".[7]


  • 1947–1955: Thomas Joyce Parry
  • 1955–1962: N. A. Dromgoole
  • 1962–1983: Anthony George Hill (died in office)[3]
  • 1983 –1992 John Payne
  • 1993 Nigel Taylor

Notable Old Pierrepontians[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Pierrepont School, Frensham at exploringsurreyspast.org.uk, accessed 5 July 2011
  2. ^ Pierrepont School, Frensham, at britishlistedbuildings.co.uk, accessed 5 July 2011
  3. ^ a b Pierrepont School, Frensham, 1947–1993 at exploringsurreyspast.org.uk, accessed 5 July 2011
  4. ^ Ngaio Crequer and Dean Nelson, The public schools that come bottom in The Independent dated 30 August 1992 at independent.co.uk, accessed 5 July 2011
  5. ^ Pierrepont School Trust Limited at opencharities.org, accessed 5 July 2011
  6. ^ Ellel Pierrepont at ellelministries.org
  7. ^ Jakob Peter Mynster, Mynster's "Rationalism, supernaturalism" and the debate about mediation (2009 edition), p. 363
  8. ^ ‘COCKELL, Sir Merrick (Richard)’, in Who's Who 2011 (London: A. & C. Black, 2011)
  9. ^ Hetherington, Peter (26 July 2011). "A new champion for local government". London, UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Jonny's gift for kicking at thesun.co.uk, accessed 5 July 2011

External links[edit]