Royal Masonic School for Boys

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Former Royal Masonic School for Boys, Bushey. Architect: Gordon & Gunton ,[1] London [1]

The Royal Masonic School for Boys was an independent school for boys in England.

From 1798 charities were set up for clothing and educating sons of needy Freemasons. They originally provided education by sending them to schools near to their homes. A specific masonic boys' school was set up at Wood Green in North London in 1857 following amalgamation of the charities in 1852.[2]

A new school was built in Bushey, Hertfordshire in 1903[3] and a Junior School was added on the other side of The Avenue in 1929. By 1939 there were 800 boys at the school.[2][4] Following a decline in pupil numbers the junior school closed in 1970, with the senior school closing in 1977. The site is now occupied by Bushey Academy.

For a time, the buildings housed the United States International University (Europe). but the buildings' condition declined, and fell into disrepair. They have now been redeveloped as housing.

Both schools were commonly used for films (such as Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, Lucky Jim (twice), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and numerous TV shows) from the 1950s until recently. The opening scenes of the children's series, 'Thunderbirds' were filmed in the old science block' (and also filmed at Wellington School.) The senior school and its grounds were used throughout the long running series of Judge John Deed starring Martin Shaw (employing much of the teaching block as the judges's chambers) and 'Big School' for many of the in-court scenes).

[5] Note that the rumours of the ghost known as the 'Old Grey Lady' who reportedly roamed the corridors of both the senior and junior schools were never conclusively confirmed, and probably mere high-jinks!

The Royal Masonic School for Girls at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire still operates today.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Architecture of Hertfordshire
  2. ^ a b G. Montague Hall (1938). A History of Bushey. Bushey: Bournehall Press. 
  3. ^ Nunn, JB (1987). The Book of Watford. Watford: Pageprint (Watford) Ltd. ISBN 0-9511777-1-0. 
  4. ^ Bushey, Hertfordshire: Official Guide. Bushey: Bournehall Press. 1956. 
  5. ^ Glancey, Jonathan (27 October 2010). "The scariest building in Britain?". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°39′08″N 0°22′13″W / 51.6522°N 0.3702°W / 51.6522; -0.3702