School history

A short history of Ripon Grammar School

There has been a grammar school in Ripon since Anglo-Saxon times when a school was attached to the Collegiate Church of St Wilfrid. The first recorded reference to the school dates from the Middle Ages and thereafter the history is well-documented.

The current foundation dates from 1555 when Queen Mary and King Philip signed its charter. The school was required to provide a free education for the boys of Ripon, although the master also took in paying boarders. By the 19th Century the school had outgrown its town centre buildings and so moved to its current location, on the west side of Ripon.

The Marquess of Ripon provided the land with the main school building. Since then the buildings have been gradually extended, a process that continues today. In the late 19th Century the school was taken under local authority control and, in the 1960s, amalgamated with Ripon Girls’ High School. Notable former pupils include the theologian Bishop Beilby Porteus and the historian Bishop W Stubbs. More recent pupils include the acclaimed fashion designer Bruce Oldfield, TV presenter Richard Hammond, William Hague and journalist Katharine Viner.

For more information on the history of Ripon Grammar School please click here.