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Sir Thomas Rich's School

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Sir Thomas Rich's School

, ,

Coordinates51°52′23″N 2°12′21″W / 51.872954°N 2.20585°W / 51.872954; -2.20585Coordinates: 51°52′23″N 2°12′21″W / 51.872954°N 2.20585°W / 51.872954; -2.20585
TypeGrammar school;
MottoGarde Ta Foy (Keep The Faith)
FounderSir Thomas Rich
Head teacherMr M.S.R. Morgan
GenderMale, with a mixed Sixth Form
Age11 to 18
HousesNorthgate (Green)
Eastgate (yellow)
Southgate (Blue)
Westgate (Red)
Richleigh, Barton Street, the former site of the school.
Sir Thomas Rich's School

Sir Thomas Rich's School is a grammar school with academy status for boys (aged 11–18) and girls (aged 16–18, in the sixth form) in Longlevens, Gloucester, England, locally known as "Tommies". It was founded in 1666 by Sir Thomas Rich, 1st Baronet. In key stage 3 and 4, the school can hold up to 120 pupils each year, with 30 pupils for each class.


The Will[edit]

In Sir Thomas Rich's will of 1666 he left his Gloucester house, in Eastgate and £6,000 (a considerable sum for the time) for a school to be established for twenty poor boys in Gloucester. The money was mainly invested in farm land, with the rent paying for the running of the school. The school was opened in 1667, a year after Sir Thomas Rich's death.[1] Sir Thomas Rich decreed that the pupils should wear "blue coats and caps according to the laudable usage of Christ Church Hospital in London." The blue drugget gown and yellow stockings were replaced in 1882 by the modern equivalent, the blue blazer. The uniform now consists of shirt, blazer (two varieties), tie (four varieties), black trousers, black socks and black or dark brown shoes.

The school in June 2013

Schooldays between 1910 and 1918[edit]

Arthur Stanley Bullock from Longhope, who won a scholarship to Sir Thomas Rich's in about 1910, recalled his pride in starting at the school with the motto 'Garde ta foi' ('Keep your promise') on the cap badge. In his memoir, which also recalls his extraordinary experiences and narrow escapades during World War I, Arthur recorded that the headmaster at this time was called Mr E Price. Among the staff at this period, Arthur paid tribute to: 'Sherwood for arithmetic, Benfield for geography, Freeman for physics, Williams for art, West for English and history, Price for advanced English and Larcombe for mathematics.' He recalled, 'West and Larcombe stand out as absolutely brilliant'. West must have inspired Arthur's lifelong love of history - leading him to write his own historical memoir - and his excellence in mathematics - leading him to become an engineer. Larcombe was a notable author of mathematics books.[2]

Arthur also recalls that Larcombe and a number of other teachers joined up after war was declared, and four of them were killed in action.[3]

Modern history[edit]

The school moved from the centre of Gloucester in May 1964. Changes included a new quadrangle of classrooms completed in 1994. The school has increased in size since 1990, with the addition of new buildings, such as a second quadrangle, sports hall, swimming pool, language block, music block, food technology block, a sixth form centre and a newly built pavilion. During 2013, the older sections underwent modernisation.


Swimming pool[edit]

The school added a swimming pool in 1966 as part of the Tercentenary celebrations. It was closed in the early 1990s, after being disused since the mid-1980s, but re-opened in 1995.[citation needed] The pool is used by neighbouring junior schools and local community organisations.

Bowling green[edit]

The school has its own bowling green, available for use by senior pupils and by the Sir Thomas Rich's Bowls Club, and rented out to other organisations.

The "Old Gym"[edit]

The old gym is used for sports such as table tennis, basketball, and gymnastics; it is also used as a venue for exams. It was recently refurbished in time for the 2016-17 academic year.


Opened in 1999, the sports hall is part of the STRS Sports Centre complex which provides sports facilities for the school and Longlevens. The school also has a fitness suite that students are able to join for an annual fee.[4] The hall is also rented out to other associations. There is a Rugby Football Club with a pavilion built in 2016 overlooking games.

The W J Veale Language Block[edit]

Built in 2002, and named after former headmaster W. J. Veale, it originally had with five classrooms and one computer room for modern language tuition in connection with the school's recently received Language College status. In 2007, an extension provided another modern language room and three geography classrooms.

Learning Resource and Sixth Form Centre[edit]

In 2015 a new learning resource and sixth form centre was opened. The building replaced the outdated sixth form common rooms and the library.


  1. ^ Life at Sir Thomas Rich's School Archived 2005-04-08 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Bullock, Arthur (2009). Gloucestershire Between the Wars: A Memoir. The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-4793-3. (Pages 40-43)
  3. ^ Bullock, Arthur (2009). Gloucestershire Between the Wars: A Memoir. The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-4793-3. (Page 44)
  4. ^[non-primary source needed]

External links[edit]