Pocklington School

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Pocklington School
Pocklington School.jpg
Motto Virtute et Veritate
Established 1514
Type Independent School
Headmaster Mark Ronan
Location West Green
East Riding of Yorkshire
YO42 2NJ
53°55′45″N 0°46′57″W / 53.929040°N 0.782430°W / 53.929040; -0.782430Coordinates: 53°55′45″N 0°46′57″W / 53.929040°N 0.782430°W / 53.929040; -0.782430
Ages 4–18
Website www.pocklingtonschool.com

Pocklington School is an independent school in Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 1514 by John Dolman. The school is situated in 70 acres (28 ha) of land, on the outskirts of the small market town, 12 miles (19 km) from York and 26 miles (42 km) from Hull. It is an Anglican foundation and Friday morning church is compulsory for years 7–11, although pupils from all faiths are accepted. It is the 67th oldest school in the United Kingdom and celebrated its 500th birthday in 2014.


Pupils sit entrance exams in order to join the senior school, years 7–11. After having taken GCSEs, pupils may enter the Pocklington School Sixth Form, providing they meet the required results (6 GCSEs grades – to include 4B and 2C). The main points of entry to the senior school are 11+, 13+ and 16+, but entry is not confined solely to these year groups. Entry is subject to examination and references from the pupil’s current school. Academic and music scholarships are available at most entry levels including the sixth form. Pocklington School has a pre-prep and junior section, Pocklington Prep School, situated on the same grounds, accepting pupils of ages 4–11.

The current Headmaster is Mark Ronan, appointed from January 2008. He was previously Deputy Head at Trent College, having taught economics.

Pocklington, like many private schools in the United Kingdom, has a number of traditions, such as the year group naming convention (first form, second form, etc.). Its motto Virtute et Veritate is Latin for By truth and virtue.

There are four houses: Dolman (named after the school's founder John Dolman), Gruggen and Hutton (named after former headmasters Rev. Gruggen and Rev. Hutton) and Wilberforce (named after the 18th/19th century anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce who attended the school). Each pupil from a new family is entered into a house; all following siblings enter the same house.

The school has an armed forces centre, located on the edge of campus in the Annand VC Cadet Centre.[1] The Combined Cadet Force takes part in various competitions each year and cadets can attend camps around the country.

The school sports hall is housed in the train shed of the former Pocklington railway station, designed by George Townsend Andrews.[2]

William Wilberforce[edit]

William Wilberforce was the school's most notable pupil. He attended Pocklington School from 1771–76 and is famous as the parliamentary campaigner who brought about the abolition of the slave trade and the emancipation of slaves.[3] A statue of a freed slave sculpted by Peter Tatham (1983–93) is in the centre of the St Nicholas Quadrangle. A bronze statue of Wilberforce as a boy, by York sculptress Sally Arnup, stands near the school foyer. Erected in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of slave emancipation, Dr John Sentamu unveiled the new statue in autumn 2007.[4] Pocklington School appeared in a television programme entitled In Search of Wilberforce, made by former BBC news presenter Moira Stuart, and first shown on BBC 2 on 16 March 2007.

Notable former pupils[edit]

  • Richard Annand, V.C. 1925–32, awarded the Victoria Cross in 1940 during the battle for France. His final visit to the school was in 2002 to unveil a copy of his citation. This can be seen in the Senior School Reception entrance. He died in December 2004. The new CCF Centre, opened in 2009, is named after him.
  • Jason Carr, 1980–85, composer, lyricist, arranger and musical director. Studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has written and directed music for many Chichester Festival productions. He has composed the music for over 40 plays including London productions of Tennessee Williams' "Glass Menagerie", "Rose Tattoo" and "Camino Real". Other compositions include songs and dance numbers for the Paris Lido world tour. He has also written various musicals including: Born Again (a musical of Ionesco's Rhinoceros), The Water Babies, and, Six Pictures of Lee Miller. He opened the refurbished Music School in 2003.
  • Prof. Mark Child, FRS, 1947–1955, Coulson Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, Oxford. Publications: Molecular Collision Theory, Semiclassical Methods with Molecular Applications
  • Sir Edward Clay, K.C.M.G., 1955–63, Diplomat, High Commissioner to Kenya.
  • Sir James Cobban, 1920–29, educationalist, headmaster of Abingdon School, 1947–70.
  • Martin Crimp, 1968–74, playwright.
  • Jack Daniel, 1931–37, artist and illustrator in The Eagle, The Illustrated London News and The Field. He also sculpted the war memorial in Chelsea Barracks and drew the Wheelbarrow Hero, a scene depicting Richard Annand's heroism, which is displayed in the foyer of the Stoppard Centre.
  • Alexandra Dariescu, 2002–2003, Piano soloist, awarded the Medal of the Custodian of the Order of the Crown of Romania, presented by King Michael of Romania in 2015. First Romanian female pianist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
  • Arthur Stuart Duncan-Jones 1890–1897, Dean of Chichester for 25 years, notable spokesperson on foreign affairs and on Christian attitudes to war.
  • Adrian Edmondson 1969–75, author and co writer / actor of Bottom and The Young Ones. Married to Jennifer Saunders, won the BBC Celebrity Master Chef Competition
  • Kyle Edmund, 2002–2006, South African-born British tennis player, currently ranked inside the top 100 in the world and is the British number 3.
  • Stewart Eldon C.M.G., O.B.E., 1966–71, British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, Dublin
  • Christopher Elliott C.B. M.B.E., 1960–65, Major General, responsible for current doctrine in the British Army.
  • Michael Elsworth, 1941–51, actor, Gondorian archivist in the film The Lord of the Rings and Círdan in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Andrew Farquhar C.B.E., DL, 1966–72, Major General, General Officer Commanding 5th Division, awarded the Legion of Merit by the U.S.A. in 2005.
  • Brian Fenwick-Smith, 1943–54, entrepreneur and school benefactor. He donated a large sum of the money for the Fenwick-Smith boarding house, opened in 2007.
  • Mark Fisher O.B.E., M.V.O., 1958–65, architect, designer of rock concerts for Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones & U2. Chief designer of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
  • David Fleeman, 1943–1951, Oxford don and leading authority on Dr Samuel Johnson. His publications were numerous and culminated in a thousand-page bibliography, charting Johnson's career, reputation and literary output.
  • Robert Horner, 1947–55, president of the Rugby Football Union, 2003–04.
  • Sebastian Horsley, artist and writer, best known for having undergone a voluntary crucifixion.[5]
  • John How, 1894–1899, Bishop of Glasgow and Primus of the Church of Scotland. In the 1930s, he was Chaplain to George V, Edward VIII and later George VI.
  • Malcolm Hutchinson, CB 1946–1953, Major General responsible for defence equipment procurement 1958–90. MD of London Dockland Light Railway 1990–1994. Chairman of UK Atomic Weapons Establishment 2001–05.
  • Steven Kyffin, Professor, 1970–1977 Industrial design, University Of Northumbria at Newcastle, Royal College of Art, Director of Design Research, Philips Design, the Netherlands. Awarded Innovation Design Award UNN 2008.
  • Ted Maidment, 1951–61, headmaster of Shrewsbury School, 1988–2001.
  • Lord Moran, M.C. 1894–99, personal physician to Winston Churchill, author of The Anatomy of Courage and The Struggle for Survival, his personal accounts of looking after Churchill.[6]
  • Eillie Norwood, 1875–1879, actor.
  • Xavier Pick, 1982–1990, artist, widely acclaimed for visual story telling through art. Was chosen to be an official war artist in 2008.
  • Oswald Prowde, 1895–1900, civil engineer. Chosen by Lord Kitchener to construct the Sennar Dam on the Blue Nile. Last major project was the London Underground.
  • Sir Charles Reece, 1938–42, formerly technical director I.C.I. and chairman, Committee for European Development of Science and Technology.
  • Sir Stephen Robson, 1955–62, H.M. Treasury, director Cazenove Group Plc & Xstrata Plc.
  • Sir Percy Simner KCB, DSO, DL, TD, 1892–1897, held the post of Queen's Remembrancer 147-57 – the most senior and ancient judicial position held in the UK legal system. Founder member of the Old Pocklingtonian Association in 1897.
  • Robin Skelton, 1937–43, poet and literary scholar, author of more than 100 books of criticism, biography and poetry.
  • Frank Smailes, 1924–27, Yorkshire and England cricketer. Smailes took all ten wickets in a match against Derbyshire in 1939.
  • Martin St Quinton, 1965–1975, Telecommunications entrepreneur. Owner and Chairman of Gloucester Rugby Club 2016.
  • Sir Tom Stoppard, O.M., C.B.E., 1950–54, playwright. His portrait, presented to the school by Peter Stoppard (1949–53), hangs in the senior school reception entrance.
  • Peter Walker, C.B., C.B.E., 1959–68, Air Marshal, is director, Joint Warfare Centre, Europe.
  • Rob Webber, 1994–2004, England international rugby union player (hooker). Originally with Wasps, then Bath. From 2016: Sale Sharks.
  • William Wilberforce, 1771–1776, Slave emancipator and statesman.
  • Sir Dawson Williams, CBE, MD, HonLLd, DLitt, DSc, FRCP 1867–1872, consultant physician and longest serving editor of BMJ (British Medical Journal).


  1. ^ "New centre for cadets at Pocklington School". This is Hull and East Riding. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Bairstow, Martin (1990). Railways In East Yorkshire. Martin Bairstow. ISBN 1-871944-03-1. 
  3. ^ "Pocklington History – William Wilberforce". www.pocklingtonhistory.com. Retrieved 18 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "Statue unveiled – Pocklington Post". Pocklington Post. Retrieved 18 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "'Bitesize' Project Archive 1514 – Lord Moran" (PDF). Pocklington 500. Pocklington School. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 

External links[edit]