August 9 – Burford School Boarding House

Lenthall House

Hi from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

Today we took some photos of the Burford Boarding School where we are exhibiting the Medieval Mosaic in the dining room from 24 July to 28 August.

The School was founded as an Elizabethan Grammar School for boys in 1571. Boarders were welcomed, though initially they were housed with families throughout the town. The Charter of the school is still in existence and its founding is celebrated each year in the autumn when a Charter Day Service is held, attended by the whole school.

In 1896 the arrival of a new Head led to the addition of agricultural studies to the traditional curriculum and a revitalised boarding house was established to house them during the week.  This brought in the sons of local farmers and led to the establishment of a very successful fifty-six acre farm unit with a Danish Jersey Herd, breeding ewes, sows and poultry.

The school became a County School in 1924 and girls were invited to attend, although the sexes were taught separately until 1952 when, due to its comparatively isolated position and the need for viability, comprehensive co-education was pioneered.

The school moved to its new premises in 36 acres of rolling land at the top of Burford in 1960 and the original Grammar School became part of the Boarding House in the heart of the town. In 1980 it became a Community College, with many evening classes and events taking place, and in 2012 it became the Academy that it is today.

The Boarding Department consists of two boarding houses situated on the same site next to the church in the centre of Burford. The accommodation is housed in what used to be the Grammar School with a central courtyard – the original playground – in the centre.  Younger students have shared bedrooms of between two and five students and senior students share small study bedrooms or single rooms. Common rooms, kitchens for independent cooking, a gym, prep-room and a small orchard for outdoor activities all contribute to making the boarding house a ‘home’ to come back to at the end of the day.

We thank the Burford School for allowing us to exhibit here in the Boarding Facility during the summer school holidays. It is a great place and everyone has been very kind.