St Marylebone Grammar School

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St Marylebone Grammar School
Marylebone Grammar 0001.jpg
The original building, in August 2011
City of Westminster, London

United Kingdom
Mottoex animo tamquam Deo
Established1792 (1792)

St Marylebone Grammar School (SMGS) was a grammar school located in the London borough of the City of Westminster, from 1792 to 1981.


Philological School[edit]

Founded as the Philological Society by Thomas Collingwood, under the patronage of the Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, its object was to help "the heads of families, who by unexpected misfortune, have been reduced from a station of comfort and respectability." Founded in Mary Street (later renamed Stanhope Street, N.W. 1), it moved to Marylebone Road in 1827. Its fortunes improved largely due to Edwin Abbott, headmaster from 1827 to 1872. After Abbott, the school's financial position deteriorated.[1]

Grammar school[edit]

In 1901 it was accepted in trust by the London County Council and renamed St Marylebone Grammar School. After World War II it recovered. Under headmaster Philip Wayne it developed artistic activities, acquired shared use of playing fields in Sudbury Hill, and established a country base in the village of Forest Green, near Leith Hill.[2] In 1957 the motto "ex animo tamquam Deo" ("from the heart, as from God") was added to the school's crest at the suggestion of the deputy headmaster Kenneth Crook.[1][3]

After Philip Wayne, SMGS was led by Harry Llewellyn-Smith as headmaster until 1970. During his period a new and separate science block was built a short walk away from the school's main site. Roy Mansell led the science team and was for a short period the last headmaster after Patrick Hutton.[1]


Soon after headmaster Patrick Hutton (formerly head of English[4] at St Paul's School) arrived in 1970, the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) proposed to merge SMGS with the local secondary modern school, Rutherford School, later part of North Westminster School. ILEA itself came into conflict with the new Conservative government, whose secretary of state for education Margaret Thatcher took an interest in SMGS. By 1981, however, SMGS had closed.[5]

Current use of buildings[edit]

The former science block continues in educational use as the Cosway Street Centre, part of City of Westminster College. The main school building consisted of the original school building on Marylebone Road and two later wings in Lisson Grove; the Lisson Grove buildings were demolished and replaced with an office block. The original building is Grade II listed and remains intact; it is now part of Abercorn School.[6]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Old Philologians Association. "School History". Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  2. ^ J.S. Cockburn; H.P.F. King; K.G.T. McDonnell, eds. (1969). "Schools: St. Marylebone Grammar School". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1: Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, The Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes to 1870, Private Education from Sixteenth Century. pp. 306–307. ISBN 0-19-722713-9.. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
  3. ^ "St. Marylebone Grammar School Masters". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  4. ^ Gordon Leach. "Obituary: Patrick Hutton". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  5. ^ Gordon Leach. "Obituary: Patrick Hutton". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Welcome to pre-prep | Abercorn School". Abercorn School. Retrieved 4 August 2020.

External links[edit]