St Bees School - founded 1583

Foundation stone

St Bees School, the lintel over the original school entrance –  “Ingredere Ut Proficias: Enter so that you may make progress.”

St Bees School today

St Bees has over 400 years of noble heritage as one of England’s oldest schools — and the new St Bees draws its traditions from these deep roots. St Bees offers education and boarding for ages 11-18. With this unique setting and background, we have our educational eyes firmly fixed on future horizons.

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St Bees School Campus

St Bees School history

The School owes its existence to Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York (1570 -1575) and of Canterbury (1575 – 1583); he was born in the village about 1517 of yeoman farmer stock.

Called the “Free Grammar School”, the School  provided education for boys born in Cumberland and Westmorland, who were able to pass an educational test. The School would be administered by seven governors, one of whom was to be the provost of Queen’s College, Oxford, who would appoint the Schoolmaster at a salary of £20 per year. The term “free” meant it was free of Church juristriction – as opposed to many contemporary schools which were often attached to Cathedrals or Colleges – not that it cost nothing to attend. The school was to be built at a cost of £366.3s.4d. and endowed with annual revenues of £50.

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Archbishop Edmund Grindal - born in St Bees and founder of St Bees School
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