The Crypt School

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The Crypt School
CryptSchool Logo.PNG
Established 1539
Type Grammar school;
Headteacher Nicholas Dyer
Founders John and Joan Cooke
Location Podsmead, Gloucester
51°50′22″N 2°15′07″W / 51.8394°N 2.252°W / 51.8394; -2.252Coordinates: 51°50′22″N 2°15′07″W / 51.8394°N 2.252°W / 51.8394; -2.252
DfE URN 136578 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 930
Gender Fully coeducational from September 2018 (mixed)
Ages 11–18
Houses Brown, Whitefield, Moore, Raikes and Henley
Colours Maroon, Primrose
John and Joan Cooke by an unknown artist. In the collection of Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery.
The old Crypt School, next to St. Mary de Crypt church.
Plaque at the site of the old Crypt School.

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.[1]

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.[2]



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.[1] 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.[1]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Alumni of the school are known as Old Cryptians.[3]


  1. ^ a b c John and Joan Cooke. Living Gloucester, 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  2. ^ "The Crypt School : Gloucester". Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  3. ^ The Old Cryptians' Club – Home

External links[edit]