Monkton Combe School

Monkton Combe School is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 2-18 near Bath, Somerset, England. It is a member of the Rugby Group of independent schools in the United Kingdom.[1]

Monkton Combe School
Monkton Combe (Somerset) School Chapel - - 67831.jpg
Coordinates51°21′25″N 2°19′37″W / 51.3569°N 2.3270°W / 51.3569; -2.3270Coordinates: 51°21′25″N 2°19′37″W / 51.3569°N 2.3270°W / 51.3569; -2.3270
TypePublic school
Independent, Boarding
Motto"Verbum Tuum Veritas (Thy Word is Truth)"
Head teacherChristopher Wheeler (Senior School), Martin Davis (Prep School), Catherine Winchcombe (Pre-Prep)
Enrolment711 (all three schools from September 2015)
HousesEddystone (MSS Boys)

Farm (MSS Boys)

Grange (MSS Girls)

School (MSS Boys)

Clarendon (MSS Girls)

Nutfield (MSS Girls)

Hatton (MPS Mixed) (Subhouses of Hatton:)

Easterfield (MPS Mixed)

Kearns (MPS Mixed)

Howard (MPS Mixed)

Jameson (MPS Mixed)
Colour(s)Red, white, blue
Former pupilsOld Monktonians

The Senior School is located in the village of Monkton Combe, while the Prep School, Pre-Prep and Nursery are in Combe Down on the southern outskirts of Bath.

The Senior School (current pupil numbers are around 500) admits children from age 13 through to 18; the Prep School admits children from age 7 to 13 and the Pre-Prep has classes in Kindergarten (3–4), Reception (4–5) and Years 1 and 2 (5–7). The Nursery, set within the Prep School grounds, provides pre-school care (ages 2 – 3). The Senior School and Prep School have a strong boarding tradition; however, day pupils comprise one third of the intake of the Senior School and are in the majority in the Prep School. Since 1992 when it merged with Clarendon School for Girls the school has been co-educational with three boys' boarding houses and three girls' boarding houses, all in the school's immediate environs.


Monkton Combe School was founded in 1868[2] by the Reverend Francis Pocock, Vicar of Monkton Combe and former Chaplain to John Weeks (bishop) of Sierra Leone. The Junior School was established with four pupils in 1888 in Combe Lodge (a private house in Church Road, Combe Down) by Mrs Howard, the daughter of the Senior School Principal, Rev Reginald Guy Bryan. It moved into its current purpose-built premises in June 1907. The Junior School purchased Glenburnie (another large house in Church Road) in the 1920s which it occupied as a boarding house and later as a Prep-Prep. In 2016 the Pre-Prep transferred to a newly-constructed building in the grounds of the Prep School and Glenburnie was sold. In 1992, the School became fully co-educational, merging with Clarendon School for Girls, Bedford. In 2006 the Junior School was renamed Monkton Prep School.

The school has many historical traditions and a strong evangelical Christian heritage. It was noted as one of the UK's strongest rowing schools during the 20th century, with 20% of the 23-strong men's GB rowing squad at the 1948 Olympics consisting of Old Monktonians.[citation needed]

The official history of the school's first hundred years can be found in A Goodly Heritage: A History of Monkton Combe School 1868–1967 by former Senior School master A. F. Lace, published in Bath by Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1968.[3] The official history of the school's first 150 years can be found in A Delightful Inheritance by former Junior School headmaster Peter Leroy, published in 2017 by Monkton School Enterprises.[4]

Sport and other activitiesEdit

Monkton Combe School maintains a strong sporting tradition. The main competitive representational sports played are Rugby, Rowing, Hockey, Tennis, Netball, Cricket and Football).

The school has produced six Olympic rowing medallists to date. Each represented Great Britain and three won Gold. One Old Monktonian achieved an Olympic Gold Medal representing Great Britain at men's hockey. Another Old Monktonian captained the England Netball Team which won Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The school's boat club competes against many of the UK's best teams, with Old Monktonians rowing as Monkton Bluefriars.

The school has a strong musical and theatrical tradition with the majority of pupils learning an instrument and taking part in school plays and musical events. Other activities include the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and various clubs and societies. There are also annual (optional) visits overseas, as well as academic trips such as foreign language exchange trips and sports tours and training camps.


The School maintains a range of sporting facilities including an indoor swimming pool, sports halls with fully equipped gyms, three astroturf pitches (two full size and one half size), nine grass and three hard tennis courts, two boathouses with access to the River Avon and many acres of grounds. All buildings are made of Bath stone, in the same style as many buildings in and around the city of Bath, to keep with the traditional architectural style around Bath. Many of the school's facilities are made available for the use of local schools, such as Combe Down Primary School and local children's sports clubs.

Several of the buildings are listed, including the main Senior school block known as The Old Farm,[5] and the part of the Terrace Block known as The Old Vicarage.[6] In 2008 the Senior School completed a 5 million pound project which involved re-building, extending and re-furbishing its Mathematics and Science departments. In June 2012, a new 3.2 million pound Music centre was opened for use by Dame Felicity Lott. A new Art & Design centre was opened in 2016.


Many of the pupils are either weekly or full-time boarders. The Senior school maintains six boarding houses, three of which are for girls (Nutfield, Clarendon and Grange) and three for boys (Eddystone, School and Farm).[7] The Preparatory school only operates one boarding house with a floor for boys and a floor for girls (Hatton). There are many traditions in each house, as well as many inter-house competitions throughout the year. Students are allowed to visit the City of Bath each weekend. Lessons take place on Saturday mornings with sporting matches against other schools taking place on most Saturday afternoons.

List of Head MastersEdit

The following have been Head Masters of Monkton Combe School:

Name Years as Head Master
The Revd F. Pocock 1868–1875
The Revd R.G. Bryan 1875–1895
The Revd W.E. Bryan 1895–1900
The Revd N. Bennet 1900
The Revd J.W. Kearns 1900–1926
The Revd E. Hayward 1926–1946
D.R. Wigram 1946–1968
R.J. Knight 1968–1978
R.A.C. Meredith 1978–1990
M.J. Cuthbertson 1990–2005
R. Backhouse 2005–2015
C. Wheeler 2016–Present

Notable former pupilsEdit


  1. ^ "Monkton Combe School". Monkton Combe School website. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  2. ^ Lace, A F (1968). A Goodly Heritage. ISBN 0950368806.
  3. ^ "Senior School History". Monkton Combe School. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  4. ^ LeRoy, Peter (2017). A Delightful Inheritance. Monkton Combe School Enpterprises. ISBN 199986980X.
  5. ^ "Monkton Combe School, the main or old block known as The Old Farm". English Heritage. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Monkton Combe School, the part of the Terrace Block known as The Old – Vicarage". English Heritage. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  7. ^
  8. ^ David Ellis (17 May 1994). "Obituary: David Adeney". The Independent Features. p. 14.
  9. ^ "The Right Reverend Ian Cundy". The Daily Telegraph. London. 11 May 2009.
  10. ^ Secretary, Office of the Home; Sciences, National Academy of (21 November 2003). Biographical Memoirs. National Academies Press. ISBN 9780309527699.
  11. ^ Burgess, Kaya (22 December 2008). "Adrian Mitchell Shadow Poet Laureate dies aged 76". The Times. London.
  12. ^ L, Klemen (1999–2000). "Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Edmund Charles Peirse". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941–1942.
  13. ^ p.9.

External linksEdit