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News > From The Archives > Rossall embarks on its second century

Rossall embarks on its second century

To mark the centenary of the school’s foundation, which had fallen during the latter stages of World War Two, October 17th to the 19th of 1947 were set aside for the celebrations.

As part of a special series of visits to the leading public schools up and down the land the celebrated artist Bryan de Grineau from the ‘Illustrated London News’ came to Rossall and produced an extraordinary set of sketches which very accurately depict the day to day life of the school. 

Rossall, like Marlborough and Radley, belongs to a group of public schools founded in the 1840’s. Originally known as the ‘North Church of England School’, it was intended to provide a good education for the sons of the clergy at a reasonable cost and it still admits the sons of the clergy at a reduced cost. 

At the time of the centenary celebrations in 1947 there were 500 boys in residence as well as a teaching, domestic and outside staff of a hundred. It was quite self-contained: supplying its own electricity, bread, farm produce and had its own laundry. Remnants of this self-sufficiency can still be found in the current names of certain buildings on site.
Rossall had a well-known reputation for hardiness, both mental and physical with its emphasis on Latin, Ancient Greek, Mathematics and Physical Education. Ross Hockey, often a brutal and unforgiving game, was played on the shore in all weathers.

A particular Rossall tradition is that of congregational singing in chapel, in which the pupils learn and practise traditional and new Anglican hymns, often in a delightful and slightly competitive way. This tradition has continued, with only a short recent suspension, since the 1880’s.

Anyone who would like to see all of Grineau’s drawings is very welcome to view them in the school archive. 

Richard McDowell

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