Last year, for the first time in Lambrook history, each Pre Prep pupil was assigned to one of our four Lambrook houses. Whilst the House system may only have been adopted by the Pre Prep last summer, it was first introduced to Lambrook by Haileybury Junior School at the time of their merger in 1997 and, ever since then, our Prep School pupils have been kept busy with internal house tournaments and competitions in Sport, Music and many other activities.
Our four Houses (Alexander, Athlone, Dewar, and Goodhart) are named after the major four philanthropists who contributed towards the early stage development of Haileybury School, and we have retained this tradition since our separation from Haileybury back in 2009.
If Haileybury Junior School was responsible for transferring its four Houses to Winkfield Row just before the new millennium, their origin in Windsor dates from the first half of the last century and we must actually go much further back in time, to the 1840s in fact, so as to tell the whole story.
1845 saw the foundation of St Mark’s School in Windsor by Rev. Stephen Hawtrey, who had been the Senior Mathematical Master at Eton College and the first incumbent at Holy Trinity Church. When his small ‘cottage’ school became so popular that it needed more room, Queen Victoria and two Archbishops headed the subscription list to raise funds for bigger premises.
A new building was opened in 1862 on 25 April (St Mark’s Day), and further enlarged eight years afterwards, when boarders were first admitted. Rev. Hawtrey finally retired as Headmaster in 1886 to become Warden of the school, but died only a few months later and the brass eagle lectern from St Mark’s in our DJC Foyer carries a commemorative inscription to him around its base.
Returning to the 1840s, a school called The Hermitage had been founded in Bath, a year after St Mark’s. Equally prosperous, it had outgrown its buildings when Rev. C. N. Nagel took charge in 1890, and was in similarly desperate need of room for expansion. An opportunity was spotted when the Headship at St Mark’s fell vacant and so Rev. Nagel moved his pupils to Berkshire, uniting the two schools in 1895.
Meanwhile, the United Services College (U.S.C.) had been founded in 1874 at Westward Ho!, North Devon, with Mr Cormell Price at the helm. It was an offshoot, so to speak, of Haileybury in Hertford, from where the Headmaster had hailed and Rudyard Kipling was a pupil there between 1878 and 1882, later incorporating stories about ‘the Coll.’, as it was often called, in his book ‘Stalky & Co’.
In 1903, following financial difficulties, the U.S.C. closed its doors and Rev. F. W. Tracy, the Headmaster, went in search of a new home. The fortunes of St Mark’s had also been in decline around the turn of the century despite the patronage of Queen Victoria, a long-standing supporter, who visited the school in 1898 on the 30th of June. The date of this event was commemorated thereafter as ‘Queen’s Day’.
In the hope of curing the ills of both schools, an amalgamation took place in 1906 to create ‘The United Services College, St Mark’s, Windsor,’ with Rev. Nagel remaining as Headmaster and Rev. Tracy becoming Warden. Despite their best efforts, this new establishment also struggled to remain viable and assistance was sought once more to solve the crisis and to ensure its survival.
In 1911, Rev. Nagel having died very suddenly and Rev. Tracy having retired owing to poor health, the Governors approached the Imperial Service College Trust, whose generous help was thankfully forthcoming. By the end of the year, the rescued school had been renamed the ‘Imperial Service College’ (I.S.C.) after the trust which controlled it, and its first Headmaster, Mr E.G.A. Beckwith was appointed in 1912.
At this point we must turn the clock back once more, this time to 1870, when Trinity College had been founded in Stratford-on-Avon to prepare students who were seeking to take Holy Orders. By 1905 its purpose as an educational institution had radically changed to training candidates who intended to join the Army as commissioned officers and it was appropriately renamed ‘The Army School’.
In 1908, the school at Stratford-on-Avon closed down in order to move to Holyport, near Maidenhead, but it was not long before its students were on the move again, accompanying Mr Beckwith, their Headmaster, to the I.S.C. in 1912. The new college flourished and, following the purchase of Clewer Manor in 1920, its junior school moved to the much larger site two years later.
Since the I.S.C. Trust allowed only for bursaries, the role of benefactors was crucial to the long-term survival of the school and our four Houses (Alexander, Athlone, Dewar, and Goodhart) are named after the major contributors whose donations made the most impact on its initial development – helping to lead to the ultimate success which Lambrook enjoys today.
This house was named in honour of Mr P. A. Alexander, an aeronaut (a friend of the Wright brothers), scientist and philanthropist, who lived locally and presented a building in the U.S.C. St Mark’s days, as well as donating much-needed funds on 12th December 1915, which henceforth became known as ‘Alexander Day’.
The Earl of Athlone was the Chairman of Governors, as well as being a benefactor – assisting in the establishment of the ‘Kipling Scholarship Endowment’ for overseas pupils, amongst other initiatives. Born as His Serene Highness Prince Alexander of Teck, he relinquished his German titles and was created Earl of Athlone in 1917, becoming Governor-General of South Africa in 1924 and then of Canada in 1940.
Mr J. A. Dewar, was the son of the original Scotch whisky brand’s creator, John Dewar, Sr, and controlled the company together with his brother Tommy. In 1934 he donated a significant amount of money to the Junior School, enabling an entirely new wing to be added to the existing building, and at other times considerable alterations were also made to Clewer Manor, owing to his generosity.
Mr F. E. McCormick-Goodhart, was not only a Governor of the I.S.C. but also one of its greatest benefactors, coming to the rescue through substantial gifts of land and monetary munificence. Following his death in 1924 the ‘Goodhart Gates’ (see above) were put up in his memory at the main entrance to the College. Over time, the house name was shortened to McGoodhart, and finally Goodhart, as it remains to this day.
In 1935, the much respected Headmaster Mr E.G.A. Beckwith died, a Royal Charter having been granted to the college four years earlier and his son having become Headmaster of the Junior School only the year before. The Second World War took its inevitable toll on schools around the country and in 1942, not exempt from these ravages, the I.S.C. combined with Haileybury – the senior boys finding a new home in Hertford, from where Mr Price had left to found the U.S.C. in 1874!
The Junior School also officially amalgamated with Haileybury in 1942, becoming the Haileybury and ISC Junior School, but remained at Clewer Manor under its Headmaster, affectionately known as ‘Becky’. In 1966, the ISC name was dropped from the title, becoming simply Haileybury Junior School, and in 1997 Lambrook Haileybury was born, the latest merger having taken place and the school being relocated once more – this time to Winkfield Row.
The final twist in this long history of educational evolution occurred in 2009, when Lambrook formally separated from Haileybury to gain fully independent control of its own destiny. As we have seen, the traditions of so many other earlier schools have contributed to our unique heritage and we should all be immensely proud of being their worthy successor.
John Kimbell, School ArchivistBack to all news