Alleyn's School

Alleyn's School

Infobox UK school
name = Alleyn's School

size = 100px
latitude =
longitude =
dms =
motto = God's Gift
motto_pl =
established = 1882 as a separate school, although direct descendant of Edward Alleyn's original foundation of the College of God's Gift in Dulwich founded in 1619.
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Public School
religion =
president =
head_label = Headmaster
head = Colin Diggory
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label = Chairman of the Governing Board
chair = Mr Raymond Cousins
founder = Edward Alleyn
founder_pl =
specialist =
street = Townley Road
city = Dulwich
county = London
country = Englandflagicon|England
postcode = SE22 8NU
ofsted =
staff =
enrollment = 1100 (approx.)
gender = Mixed
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 18
houses = 8 (See Houses)
colours = Red, White and Black
publication =
free_label_1 = Former pupils
free_1 = Alleyn Old Boys
free_label_2 = Affiliation
free_2 = Alleyn's College of God's Gift
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website =
website_name =

Alleyn's School is an independent, fee-paying co-educational day school situated in Dulwich, South-East London. It was part of the historic Alleyn's College of God's Gift charitable foundation, which also included James Allen's Girls' School (JAGS), Dulwich College and as well as their daughter schools (JAPS, DCPS and Alleyn's Junior School). The official religion is Church of England. The Good Schools Guide rates Alleyn's one of the best co-educational schools in the country due to its academic results and numerous facilities. [ [ Good Schools Guide] ]


Edward Alleyn

Edward Alleyn was a prosperous Elizabethan actor and proprietor of taverns, bear-pits and three brothels, whose Rose and Fortune theatres rivalled Shakespeare's Globe. In 1619 he established his "College of God's Gift" (the gift of love) with twelve students. Alleyn's School is a direct descendant of Edward Alleyn's original foundation and was established as a boys' school in 1882. It still exists as part of a foundation alongside Dulwich College and JAGS - it split with Dulwich College after the "Dulwich College Act" of 1857, with the upper school of the original foundation moving to a new site further south and the lower school staying put, becoming an independent boys school in 1882 and later also moving to its own site.

The Worshipful Company of Saddlers in the City became a generous sponsor of scholarships and new buildings after establishing a link with the school in 1970. Some of the original school buildings date from Alleyn's independence in 1882, but the School has followed a programme of continuous development since the 1970s.

The original school is now the foundation chapel and the offices for the Dulwich Estate, which belongs to the foundation schools. Alleyn's became a public school with the election of the Headmaster to the Headmasters' Conference (HMC) in 1919. It was a Direct Grant School from 1958 until the abolition of that status in 1975. The Governors then opted for outright independence and co-education.

The College of God's Gift

For the original College of God's Gift, 24 students had to be chosen from the four parishes with which Edward Alleyn had been connected. Saint Giles, Camberwell (in which Dulwich was situated), Saint Saviour, Southwark (where the Bear Pit stood on Bankside), Saint Botolph, Bishopsgate (where Alleyn was born), and Saint Giles, Cripplegate (home to the Fortune Theatre). The Master and Warden were also chosen, with the criteria being that they had to be unmarried and with the surname "Alleyn". However, the rule that the Master and Warden had to be unmarried was not strictly adhered to.

Because the Masters and Wardens had to have the surname Alleyn, this limited the applicants mainly to family of Edward Alleyn. First, Thomas Alleyn, a cousin of Edward took the post of Master in 1629, followed by Mathias Alleyn in 1631. His son, John, succeeded as Master in 1669.

It was not easy for the Foundation to run smoothly. The four parishes, as beneficiaries, were always claiming "rights" from the Foundation estates. Separately, the Masters generally seemed very unsuitable people to have in control of the College. A notable exception to this was James Allen who eventually formed James Allen's Girls' School (which was at the time for poor boys and girls in Dulwich, however subsequently has become exclusively a girl's school by an Act of Parliament in 1841.

The Second World War

During World War II, many pupils at Alleyn's were evacuated to the countryside, however some wished to stay in London, and for this reason the South London Emergency Secondary School (SLESS) was set up and housed in Alleyn's buildings from March 1940 to March 1945. This was not undertaken only to give the boys who wished to remain in London a proper education, but in conjunction with the London County Council Education Department, to offer a grammar school education to others whose schools were evacuated but did not themselves wish to leave London. SLESS kept Alleyn's buildings alive.

On the roll were 240 boys from seventeen local schools (114 from Alleyn's) and eleven masters from six schools. The Acting Headmaster (taking over from C. R. Allison) was C. Hack, and the Second Master (who subsequently became headmaster) was C. F. Tyson. The rest of Alleyn's was evacuated to Rossall.

The school was divided into houses as before. Games were played, fives was taught to newcomers and holidays were filled with "Holiday Clubs". The fields were used for sport, however some became unusable due as the old elm trees were felled by the blast. Underground shelters were dug between the running track and Woodwarde Road for use by local residents. The shelters for the pupils were in the basement (now home to the Maths Department), and lessons were frequently undertaken here due to enemy air activity.

The Royal Air Force housed their barrage balloon crews in the local brick and concrete buildings at the bottom of the school fields. The huge balloons would constantly overshadow the school's main building, and, at times, settled on the School's roof.

All staff had to undertake fire watching at nights and at the weekends. In 1942 the General Schools Certificate (GSE) was undertaken whilst the lights were failing and bombs dropping. Despite this, fourteen received Matriculation and five the Certificate.


Originally the house colours were not allowed to be any shade of blue, since this was the colour designated for Oxford and Cambridge and it were thought 'inappropriate' to have blue as a House colour as that was associated in one's mind with the two universities.

In 1921 when two new houses were created (due to their increasing role in the school but also to allow for knock-out sports and inter-house competitions), Henderson (the headmaster) had no qualms about the use of university colours, hence allowing them to use dark blue (Oxford) and light blue (Cambridge).

The colours denote the house-colour, which appears on the school tie for middle-school pupils and on the "house shirts" which are used during inter-house sports competitions. Until 1984 the colour was also found on the school cap (for boys). House badges were introduced in 2004.

Pupils with relatives who are either currently attending or have previously been pupils are allocated to the same house as those family members.

When house names are quoted on paper the apostrophe is almost always not included (e.g. Cribbs not Cribb's). Some believe this is because the house names are now disassociated with the original housemasters, so an apostrophe is not necessary.

Alleyns Lower School does not use the house system, but rather competes for ones class in 'inter-form competitions'. Pupils are then allocated a house at random (unless relatives are in or have been in the school in which case they are allocated to that house) in year 9, the beginning of the Middle School.

Victor Ludorum

The Victor Ludorum is the annual trophy contested for by each house during the school year. The winning house is determined by the amount of points it has won throughout the course of the year in inter-house sporting events, within years 9-13. Tulleys has won the Victor Ludorum the most out of all 8 houses. Unfortunately, Spurgeons have never won the Victor Ludorum.

Notable alumni

*Sir Frederick Keeble (1870–1952), Sherardian Professor of Botany, University of Oxford, 1920–1927, Scientific Adviser to ICI, 1927–1938, and Fullerian Professor, Royal Institution, 1938–1941
*James Bolivar Manson (1879–1945), painter and Director, Tate Gallery, 1930–1938
*Arthur Watson (1880–1969), Editor, "Daily Telegraph", 1924–1950
*Arthur Ewins (1882–1957), chemist
*Alexander Glenny (1882–1965), immunologist
*C. S. Forester (1899–1966), novelist []
*Sir Harold Bishop (1900–1983), Director of Technical Services/Engineering, BBC, 1952–1963
*Sir V. S. Pritchett (1900–1997), writer and critic
*Harry Guntrip (1901–1975), psychotherapist and Congregational minister
*Henry Cotton (1907–1987), golfer
*Sir Ronald Leach (1907–1996), Senior Partner, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.
*Sir Frank Young (1908–1988), biochemist and first Master of Darwin College, Cambridge, 1964–1976
*R. V. Jones (1911–1997), physicist, military intelligence expert, and Professor of Natural Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, 1946–1981
*Sir Joe Hooper (1914–1994), Director, Government Communications Headquarters, 1965–1973, and Government Intelligence Co-ordinator, 1973–1978
*Stuart Blanch, Baron Blanch (1918–1994), Bishop of Liverpool, 1966–1975, and Archbishop of York, 1975–1983
*Frank Thornton (born 1921), actor
*Terence Higgins, Baron Higgins (born 1928), politician
*Mickey Stewart (born 1933), cricketer
*Julian Glover (born 1935), actor
*Ken Farrington (born 1936), actor
*John Stride (born 1936), actor
*Michael Edwards (born 1940), cricketer
*Simon Ward (born 1941), actor []
*Kelvin MacKenzie (born 1946), former editor of "The Sun"
*Ajay Kakkar, Professor of Surgical Science, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London
*Edward Harding (born 1949), Keyboards for Spencer Davis Group
*Douglas Higgs (born 1951), Director, Molecular Haematology Unit of the Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford
*Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (born 1965), television presenter []
*Samuel West (born 1966), actor [,,1571497,00.html]
*Jason Kay (born 1969), singer-songwriter, Jamiroquai
*Ed Simons (born 1970), one half of the Chemical Brothers []
*Nancy Carroll, actor []
*Jude Law (born 1972), actor []
*Gabriel Prokofiev (born 1975), musician and producer
*Martin Cooke, creator of 'LOLCATS' application on Facebook
*Bobby Sanchez Anand, DJ and founder of club
*Donal Coonan, presenter of Channel 4's web show, "thisisaknife"
*Stuart Blair, back-up bassist for The Flaming Lips
*Rich Fownes (born 1983), songwriter/Nine Inch Nails bassist
*Jack Peñate (born 1984), singer-songwriter []
*Felix White, guitarist and vocalist of The Maccabees []
*Florence Welch (born 1987), vocalist of Florence and the Machine


External links

* [ Alleyn's School website]
*UK charity|1057971
* [ Edward Alleyn Club, the alumni association of Alleyn's School, website]
* [ Buxton Field Centre]
* [ Profile at the Good Schools Guide]
* [ Online plans for the new theatre]

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