Wellington School, Somerset

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Not to be confused with Wellington College (Berkshire).
Wellington School
Wellington School Front Gates Logo.JPG
Motto Nisi Dominus Frustra
(The opening of Psalm 127: If God Be Not With Us, Our Labour is in Vain)
Established 1837
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Henry Price
Location Wellington
TA21 8NT
Coordinates: 50°58′32″N 3°13′31″W / 50.9755°N 3.2254°W / 50.9755; -3.2254
DfE URN 123930 Tables
Students c.750 pupils
Gender Mixed
Ages 2–18
Colours Navy & Light Blue        
Former pupils Old Wellingtonians
Website www.wellington-school.org.uk

Wellington School is a co-educational independent day and boarding school in Wellington, Somerset, England for pupils aged 2 to 18.


Wellington School is situated to the south of the centre of the small town of Wellington. It was founded in 1837[1] as an all-boys school by Benjamin Frost (Headmaster 1837–1848). It was later purchased and run by Frost's wife and William Corner (Headmaster 1848–1879). The school first came into existence on its present site in 1837, as a private boys school. Girls were accepted in 1972.

The school's arms consist of one quarter of the Duke of Wellington's arms, the dragons represent the County of Somerset and the open book represents learning. The school is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

The school opened a new junior school in 2000, having previously only catered for pupils aged 10 and over. This was later renamed "Wellington Prep School". In 2003 the Princess Royal opened the Princess Royal Sports Complex, a £2.65 million indoor sports facility.[2][3]

Since September 2007, there have been no lessons on a Saturday. This has been replaced with activities that incorporate music, drama and sport as well as compulsory activities for the boarders.


The school has rugby pitches, cricket squares, football pitches, an all-weather pitch, all-weather training areas, tennis courts, squash courts, climbing wall and an indoor swimming pool.

Football was reintroduced in the 2003 school year.

Hockey is the most prestigious sport at Wellington. Many students have gone on to represent the school in county and England hockey, national athletics, county and England fencing and county rugby.[4]


Built between 1928 and 1931 by C. H. Biddulph-Pinchard, the Grade II listed.[5] red brick building is dressed with stone and has a flat roof which is concealed behind a parapet. It is a rectangular single-cell chapel with a carved stone altar.

The east end of the building holds choir stalls and an organ loft over the entrance vestibule.

The Chapel has a richly decorated interior with finely carved wooden wall panels and elaborately decorated canopies made of molded plaster.

The Church of England Chapel has a full-time Chaplain who prepares pupils for Confirmation annually. Though some assemblies are also held in the building, there are Sunday services throughout term time for boarders and members of the public; these involve regular performances by the school's chapel choir. There are also shorter services most days during the week with pupils attending on a house rota basis.

The Chapel went through specialist restoration work in 2013 which involved the repainting of the ceiling among other maintenance tasks. This restoration was funded partly by the school's Old Wellingtonians' Association

The Chapel was built as a memorial to those who fell during the first world war. George Corner, the then headmaster, wrote to the Old Boys and asked for their support in the project. The 37 members of the Wellington School Community who gave their lives are listed on the walls of the Chapel. Each year a pupil from each boarding house remembers one former pupil specifically, researching how and where they died and a basket of flowers is laid in their memory.

Confirmation and all the other occasional offices of the church are open to all members of the school community on request.

Combined Cadet Force[edit]

The school has its own marching band and active Combined Cadet Force, founded in 1901. The Combined Cadet Force is open to senior school pupils, and boasts upwards of 170 cadets across the Royal Navy, Army and Air Force sections.

The cadets learn military based skills such as drill, weapons handling, map and compass, battlecraft, climbing, abseiling and leadership development. There are various CCF camps, military training weekends and cadet competitions each year, during which the cadets go on field manoeuvres in order to apply the skills they have learned in a practical situation.[6] Wellington School is unique in having three field exercises a year, each lasting three days and two nights. There is a commissioned officer who is a full-time member of staff at Wellington School who runs the CCF. He is assisted by an experienced warrant officer. The cadets are required to present themselves for inspection by the masters in charge of each section on a weekly basis.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Notable former masters[edit]

  • John Kendall-Carpenter, President of the Rugby Football Union (1980–1981), the England Schools Rugby Football Union (1985–90) and Cornwall (1984–87). He was also Chairman of the committee that organised the first Rugby World Cup in 1987.[16]


  • A maths teacher, Andrew Crozier, was forced to quit in March 2003 after starting a sexual relationship with the 18-year-old head girl. [17]
  • Another maths teacher, Ian Sarginson, was convicted of indecently assaulting an underage male pupil in March 2004 and sent to prison. [18]


  1. ^ "Welcome to Wellington School". Wellington School. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "Princess Royal Sports Complex". Wellington School Trading Ltd. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Facilities". Wellington School. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Fencing and hockey honours for Wellington School students". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  5. ^ http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-487378-wellington-school-war-memorial-chapel-we
  6. ^ "Wellington Army Cadet Force". Wellington Army Cadet Force. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  7. ^ John Fraser Drummond: Background, The Merseyside Few, retrieved 10 September 2010 
  8. ^ "Old Wellingtonian appointed Black Rod". This is the West Country. 28 December 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "TV chef Keith Floyd dies from heart attack". Bristol Evening Post. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009. 
  10. ^ Miall, Leonard (23 October 1998). "Obituary: Frank Gillard". The Independent (London). Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "David Suchet — Poirot — to open Wellington School facilities". Somerset Gazette. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Simon Singh profile: I think, therefore I will not be gagged". The Times. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Wellington (Somerset)". Guide to Independent Schools. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Death of Mr H. T. Gamlin", The Times (London) (47736), 14 July 1937: p5 
  15. ^ http://www.mschoa.org/on-shore/about-us/force-biographies/lists/force-biographies/commander-eu-naval-force
  16. ^ http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/9335375.John_Kendall_Carpenter_in_rugby_Hall_of_Fame/
  17. ^ "Tutor quits after alleged 'afair'". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  18. ^ "Teacher found guilty of indecently assaulting pupil". Guardian. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 

External links[edit]