Monmouth School

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Monmouth School
Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School (coat of arms).png
Monmouth School.jpg
The main buildings, seen from across the A40
Motto Serve and Obey
Established 1614 (1614)
Type Public school
Independent day and boarding
Religion Protestant[1]
Headmaster Dr A Daniel
Founder William Jones
Location Monmouth
NP25 3XP
51°48′42″N 2°42′40″W / 51.8117°N 2.7110°W / 51.8117; -2.7110Coordinates: 51°48′42″N 2°42′40″W / 51.8117°N 2.7110°W / 51.8117; -2.7110
DfE URN 402007 Tables
Students 600 (approx.)
Gender Boys

Gold and Chocolate

Former pupils Old Monmothians

Monmouth School is an independent, HMC boys' boarding and day school in Monmouth, Wales. It was founded in 1614 with a bequest from William Jones, a successful merchant and trader. The School is run as a trust, the William Jones's Schools Foundation, by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, one of the Livery Companies. The Foundation's returned accounts for 2015 show an income of £22,411,000, against an expenditure of £22,433,000. Monmouth School is the older of the Haberdashers' Monmouth Schools, the other being the Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls, founded in 1892, again with funds derived from the William Jones bequest.


Plaque describing the foundation of the school

In 1613, William Jones, a prominent merchant and haberdasher, gave the Haberdashers’ Company £6,000, followed by a further £3,000 bequeathed in his will on his death in 1615, to "ordaine a preacher, a Free-School and Almes-houses for twenty poor and old distressed people, as blind and lame, as it shall seem best to them, of the Towne of Monmouth, where it shall be bestowed".[2] Jones was born at Newland, Gloucestershire[3] and brought up in Monmouth, leaving to make a sizeable fortune as a London merchant engaged in the cloth trade with the continent.[4] Jones' motivations for his bequest appear partly philanthropic and partly evangelical; "the priority given to the preacher illustrates his concern to convert an area in the Marches which was still, when the school opened in 1614, strongly recusant."[5]

Postcard from the 1930s showing the main building of the school

The Haberdashers purchased four fields as the site for the school before Jones's death and by 1615, the almshouses, and the schoolroom and headmaster's house had been completed.[3] Nothing remains of the original school buildings. In 1865, and on the same site, the school was substantially rebuilt (see below). By 1872, and under the headmastership of the Rev. Charles Manley Roberts, Monmouth had become a member of the prestigious Headmaster's Conference (created by Edward Thring of Uppingham in 1869), a mark of its increasing reputation and status as a public school. As a result of rising revenues from investments – Monmouth's endowment was one of wealthiest of any school by the mid-19th century – the original foundation was re-organised in 1891 to support a new girls’ school and an elementary school in the town, as well as a boys grammar school (West Monmouth School) in Pontypool.[6] The elementary school was transferred to County Council control in 1940 with West Monmouth School at Pontypool following in 1955.[7] This left the William Jones’s Schools Foundation responsible for Monmouth School and Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls – also known as HMSG – both of which joined the Direct Grant scheme in 1946.[8] In 1976, and with the ending of Assisted Places, the school returned to full independence.[9]

Prior to Keith Kissack's 1995 volume, three earlier histories of the school had been published: the History of the Charities of William Jones at Monmouth and Newland of 1899, by the Reverend W M Warlow; Monmouth School in the 'Sixties and 'Seventies, by the Reverend K M Pitt; and Monmouth School, 1614–1964 of 1964, by H A Ward.[10] A new history of the school, Monmouth School: The First 400 Years, was published in 2014 to mark the school's four hundredth anniversary.[11] This event was also commemorated by a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral, on 19 March 2014, attended by some 2,200 pupils and staff from the school and from Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls, as well as Haberdashers and friends of the Schools.[12]


Interior of Monmouth School Chapel, 1865

The rebuilding of the school (1864–1878) was mostly undertaken by William Snooke and Henry Stock, of the firm Snooke & Stock, surveyors to the Haberdashers' Company.[13] Snooke built the chapel, two schoolrooms and a classroom in 1864-5, followed in the 1870s by the library, Headmaster's House and the buildings which now form Monmouth House and Hereford House. [14] These buildings are all Grade II listed buildings.[15][16][17] Snooke also redeveloped the Monmouth Alms Houses, on Almshouse Street, now part of the school and which incorporate a large inscription panel describing the benefactions of the Jones Foundation.[14] These are also Grade II listed.[18] The chapel was further extended in 1875.[19] Snooke's work was not universally praised; a report from the School's Commissioner commenting, "the architect has arranged the buildings in a most inconvenient manner, and the ventilation is deficient."[20] School House, with its ceremonial arched entrance and coat of arms facing the Wye Bridge, and the adjacent technology block, were designed by Henry Stock in 1894-5.[14] They are Grade II listed buildings as of 8 October 2005.[21][22] The war memorial was dedicated in 1921, Angus Buchanan (VC) attending the ceremony.[23] The memorial is a Grade II listed structure.[21]

More modern developments include the Hall of 1961, redeveloped in the early 21st century and now the Blake Theatre,[24] the Red Lion Block of the same date and the Science Block of 1981–1984.[14] In 1985-1986, two ceramic murals were designed for the chapel by the Polish religious artist Adam Kossowski, a friend and wartime colleague of the school's Head of Art from 1947-1978, Otto Maciag. Executed by Maciag, and another art master at the school, Michael Tovey, [25] the murals were dedicated at a service conducted by the Lord Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Rev Clifford Wright on 3 October 1987.[26] Wright described them as "masterpieces of twentieth-century religious art.[27] In November 2008, a £2.3 million sports pavilion was completed[28] and opened by the former Welsh and British Lions captain, Eddie Butler, an old boy of the School. It was designed by the architects Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams. 2011 saw the commencement of the Heart Project.[28] This saw the sale of some outlying sites, such as St. James's House, and the re-organisation of others, in order to assist in the raising of funds for the redevelopment of the main school site.[24] Further funds came from the Haberdashers' Company, and the first phase was completed with the rebuilding of the Red Lion Block, now renamed the William Jones Building.[28] Further phases are planned, as funds allow.[24]

The School today

With 650 pupils Monmouth School offers boarding and day places as well as preparatory departments in a single-sex environment. To enable a wide range of A and AS level subjects to be taken, the Sixth Form has some collaborative teaching with pupils from the sister school, Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls (HMSG). The school charges fees for attendance. From September 2017, the annual fees are: day pupils, £15,354, boarding pupils, £28,827.[29]

William Jones Building


There are three main age divisions in the school; lower (forms I and II) middle (forms III, IV, and V) and sixth form (forms VI.1 and VI.2). Within these divisions, the school operates a House system. As at 2014, the houses were:

  • Wye and Dean Houses, the lower school day houses, which are incorporated under one roof in a building at the south of the campus;
  • Severn House, the newest of the middle school day houses, located on the ground floor of the middle school house complex at the north of the campus;
  • Town House;
  • Monmouth House, one of the original day houses, located below Hereford House in a building which also houses the Classics and Religious Studies departments and is connected to Severn and Town Houses;
  • Hereford House, another of the original day houses;
  • New House, a boarding house, located next to the administrative buildings in the centre of the campus;
  • Weirhead House, a boarding house, located at the south of the campus;
  • School House, a boarding house, located next to the middle school house complex at the north-east of the complex;
  • Chapel House, a Grade II* listed building, located offsite on the Hereford Road to the north of the town;
  • Tudor, Glendower and Buchanan Houses, which comprise the sixth form centre and V1.2 boarding.[30]

Academics and extra-curricular

Monmouth School offers a range of subjects, over 30 being available for study to AS and A Level, through collaboration with HMSG.[31] In 2004 the Blake Theatre was opened. Funded by Bob Blake,[24] it is used as a venue for performances by both the school and the girls' schools, and by external performers. It was officially opened by HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.[32] The school also possesses a music school, the Glover Music School, with an auditorium and teaching and practice rooms. The school's strong musical tradition owes much to Michael Eveleigh, Director of Music at the school from 1950–1986, and his successors.[33] The School has had only five Directors of Music since WWII.[34] Extra-curricular activities include foreign expeditions, music and drama events as well as the school newspaper, The Lion, a creative writing leaflet, The Lion's Tale, and an annual school magazine, The Monmothian. The School also has a Combined Cadet Force, founded in 1904, which has both an Army and RAF Section and is operated in collaboration with HMSG.[35]


The school's three main sports are rugby, rowing and cricket. The sports facilities include a new sports complex[36] which houses a six-lane swimming pool, indoor sports facilities, a weight and fitness suite, tennis courts, and a full size astroturf pitch which can be used for a variety of activities. The school's sporting tradition is reflected in the fact that many boys play at county or national level, especially in rugby, rowing, and cricket. In addition to rugby, rowing and cricket the school offers a range of other sports which include soccer, cross-country, tennis, basketball, golf, athletics, swimming, water polo, canoeing, squash and softball.[37]


In June 2009, the school paid out £150,000 to settle a landmark pensions rights case brought by female catering and support staff who claimed that, as part-time workers, they had been unjustly excluded from the school's pension scheme.[38]



Public Life
Arts and Entertainment


  1. ^ The Designation of Schools Having a Religious Character (Independent Schools) (Wales) Order 2009
  2. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 12.
  3. ^ a b Kissack 1975, p. 29.
  4. ^ Thomas Fuller The Histories of the Worthies of England 1662
  5. ^ Kissack 1996, pp. 125–6.
  6. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 79.
  7. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 125.
  8. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 102.
  9. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 130.
  10. ^ Ward 1964, preface.
  11. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 6.
  12. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 200.
  13. ^ "Directory of British Architects, 1834–1914: Vol. 2 (L-Z) – Google Books". 2001-12-20. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  14. ^ a b c d Newman 2000, pp. 402–3.
  15. ^ "Listed Buildings – Full Report – HeritageBill Cadw Assets – Reports". 
  16. ^ "Listed Buildings – Full Report – HeritageBill Cadw Assets – Reports". 
  17. ^ "Listed Buildings – Full Report – HeritageBill Cadw Assets – Reports". 
  18. ^ "Listed Buildings – Full Report – HeritageBill Cadw Assets – Reports". 
  19. ^ Morris 1987, p. 9.
  20. ^ Kissack 1975, p. 168.
  21. ^ a b "Listed Buildings – Full Report – HeritageBill Cadw Assets – Reports". 
  22. ^ "Listed Buildings – Full Report – HeritageBill Cadw Assets – Reports". 
  23. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 41.
  24. ^ a b c d Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 66.
  25. ^ Morris 1987, pp. 4-5.
  26. ^ Morris 1987, p. 2.
  27. ^ Morris 1987, p. 3.
  28. ^ a b c Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 67.
  29. ^ "Fees – Monmouth School". 
  30. ^ a b Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 188.
  31. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, pp. 188–9.
  32. ^ "Prince stages a visit". Newsquest Media Group Newspapers. 2005-04-21. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  33. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, pp. 135–6.
  34. ^ Eveleigh 1992, p. Forward.
  35. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 172.
  36. ^ "Monmouth School Sports Club". Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  37. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 154.
  38. ^ Professional Pensions Magazine 8 June 2009
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Ward 1964, p. 59.
  40. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 129.
  41. ^ "Jane Glover (Conductor) – Short Biography". 
  42. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 131.
  43. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 132.
  44. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 63.
  45. ^ Kissack 1995, p. 134.
  46. ^ "Monmouth School". 
  47. ^ Hill, A. V. "J. D. Griffith Davies, 1899–1953 (Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society, 1937–1946)", Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 11, No. 2 (March 1955), pp. 129–133. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  48. ^ a b c Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 182.
  49. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 160.
  50. ^ "Eddie Butler", The Observer. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  51. ^ "Personnel Profile – John Gwilliam", Newport RFC. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  52. ^ Llewellyn, David. "BOOK OF THE WEEK: Third Man To Fatty's Leg – An Autobiography by Steve James", The Independent, July 26, 2004. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  53. ^ "Personnel Profile – Keith Jarrett" Archived 2011-06-17 at the Wayback Machine., Newport RFC. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  54. ^ "Olympics 2008", BBC, August 13, 2008. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  55. ^ "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 2016-12-30. 
  56. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 175.
  57. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 158.
  58. ^ Staff. "Tudge makes his first-class debut" Archived 2007-02-11 at the Wayback Machine., Glamorgan County Cricket Club, August 2, 2006. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  59. ^ Llewellyn, David. "Cricket: Glamorgan chances ebb after Waters' flow; KENT 587 GLAMORGAN 306 & 96-5", The Independent, August 6, 2005. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  60. ^ a b Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 165.
  61. ^ Edwards & Moseley 2014, p. 184.
  62. ^ Victor Keegan. "Lord Ezra obituary | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  63. ^ Vaughan 1975, p. 13.
  64. ^ "Bishop of St Albans" Archived 2008-09-05 at the Wayback Machine., Cathedral & Abbey Church of St Alban. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  65. ^ Swain, Harriett and Williams, Lynne. "Paul Langford", Times Higher Education. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  66. ^ "Moynihan in call to state schools to provide morecompetitors for Britain’s 2012 Olympic team" Archived 2008-10-11 at the Wayback Machine., Inside the games, Newsletter 34, July 10, 2006. Accessed September 22, 2008.
  67. ^ Twiston Davies 2003, p. 49.
  68. ^ Barker, Dennis. "Richard Marner: Actor best known for his role as the German Colonel Kurt von Strohm in the TV sitcom 'Allo 'Allo", The Guardian, March 25, 2004. Accessed September 22, 2008.
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  70. ^ Michael Billington. "Richard Pearson obituary | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
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  • Edwards, Stephen; Moseley, Keith (2014). Monmouth School: The First 400 Years. London: Third Millennium Publishing. ISBN 978-1-906507-91-6. 
  • Eveleigh, Michael (1992). Hitting the Right Note – A Review of Music at Monmouth School 1946–1986. Dovecote Press. 
  • Kissack, Keith (1975). Monmouth: The Making of a County Town. London: Phillimore and Co., Ltd. ISBN 0-85033-209-5. 
  • Kissack, Keith (1995). Monmouth School and Monmouth 1614–1995. Hereford: Lapridge Publications. OCLC 34886939. 
  • Kissack, Keith (1996). The Lordship, Parish and Borough of Monmouth. Hereford: Lapridge Publications. OCLC 59587626. 
  • Morris, Rev. N. F. M. (1987). The Murals in Monmouth School Chapel. Monmouth, UK: Boase Press. ISBN 9-780-94812302-3. 
  • Newman, John (2000). Gwent/Monmouthshire. The Buildings of Wales. London: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-071053-1. 
  • Twiston Davies, David, ed. (2003). The Daily Telegraph Book of Military Obituaries. Bounty Books. ISBN 978-0-7537-1529-1. 
  • Vaughan, C. Maxwell (1975). Pioneers of Welsh Steel: Dowlais to Llanwern. Newport: Starling Press. ISBN 0-903434-08-3. 
  • Ward, H.A. (1964). Monmouth School: 1614–1964. The Haberdashers' Company. OCLC 21955907. 

External links

  • Official website
  • The Blake Theatre
  • William Jones' Schools Foundation
  • Monmouth School Sports Club Official Website
  • School YouTube Channel
  • Old Monmothians Club
  • Old Monmothians Boat Club
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