The Crypt School
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|Founders||John and Joan Cooke|
|DfE URN||136578 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
|Gender||Fully coeducational from September 2018 (mixed)|
|Houses||Brown, Whitefield, Moore, Raikes and Henley|
The Crypt School is a grammar school with academy status for boys and girls located in the city of Gloucester. The school was founded in 1539 by Joan Cooke with money inherited from her husband John.
The original school was part of St Mary de Crypt Church in Southgate Street and the schoolroom can still be seen there. Later, in 1889, the school moved to Greyfriars, known better as Friar's Orchard, and in 1943, to its present site at Podsmead. The site on which the modern school is situated is land given to the school by Joan Cooke in 1539. Despite attempts to change the school, notably in the 1960s with the move to comprehensive schools, the Crypt remains a selective boys grammar school. Since April 2011, the school has been an academy independent of local authority control. The school will be fully co-educational by 2018.
John Cooke (d. 1528) was a wealthy brewer and mercer of Gloucester, one of the City's earliest aldermen, serving as sheriff in 1494 and 1498. He held the office of mayor four times, in 1501, 1507, 1512 and 1518. He was a great benefactor of the City. His will started the process in motion for the establishment of a grammar school in Gloucester, and the scheme was finally given effect by his wife Joan who survived him by 17 years, dying in 1545. It was Joan therefore who created the tripartite deed of 1539, deemed to be the founding charter. The school remains today the most ancient in Gloucester. A full account of the couple and their good works is contained within the book by Roland Austin published in 1939 "Crypt School". A contemporaneous portrait of the pair, John in his mayoral robe, shaking hands in union, is held within the collection of Gloucester City Council.
Notable former pupils
- Alumni of the school are known as Old Cryptians.
- John Gordon A'Bear, international rugby union player with the British and Irish Lions, and Gloucester's youngest ever captain.
- Prof Ernest Baldwin, Professor of Biochemistry at University College London from 1950–69
- Peter Bayley, Berry Professor of English at the University of St Andrews from 1978–85, and the first Principal of Collingwood College, Durham in 1972
- Capel Bond, organist
- Prof Derek Brewer, Professor of English at the University of Cambridge from 1983–90, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge from 1977–90, and President of the English Association from 1982–3 and 1987–90
- Thomas Edward Brown (1830–1897) – poet and scholar, former head-master
- Harold Collison, Baron Collison CBE, General Secretary of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers from 1953–69
- Robin Day (1923–2000) – journalist, broadcaster and political commentator
- Ian Dench - Songwriter and musician, best known as the guitarist from EMF
- Andrew Henderson, Ambassador to Algeria since 2007
- William Henley (1849–1903) – poet and editor
- Rt Rev Michael Wrenford Hooper, Bishop of Ludlow from 2002–9
- Michael John Hurd, composer
- Prof H. D. F. Kitto – classicist and Professor of Greek at the University of Bristol from 1944–62
- John Moore (1730–1805) – Archbishop of Canterbury
- Grahame Parker, cricketer
- Robert Raikes (1736–1811) – publisher and founder of Sunday School Movement
- James Roose-Evans, theatre director and priest
- Wayne Thomas – professional footballer (Doncaster Rovers)
- George Whitefield (1714–1770) – a leader of the Methodist movement
- James Frederick Wood, Archbishop of Philadelphia between 1860–83
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