Lancaster Royal Grammar School

Lancaster Royal Grammar School
Lancaster Royal Grammar School
LRGS logo.jpg
Motto Praesis ut Prosis, ("Lead in order to serve")
Established c.1235
Type Voluntarily aided grammar school
Religion All(C of E)
Headmaster Mr Stuart Gorse
Founder John Gardyner
Specialisms Technology and Languages
Location East Road
England, UK
Local authority Lancashire
DfE URN 119810
Ofsted Reports
Staff Unknown
Students 1000 (700 + 300 6th Form)
Gender Male
Ages 11–18
Houses Forms: L, R, G, S, T, B (y10 - 11)
Colours     ,     ,     
Publication The Lancastrian

Lancaster Royal Grammar School (LRGS) is a voluntary aided, selective grammar school (day and boarding) for boys in Lancaster, England. The school has been awarded specialist Technology College and Language College status. Old boys belong to The Old Lancastrians. The school values sporting success as well as academic.



The school was founded between 1235–1256, probably nearer to the former. Later endowed as a free school by John Gardyner.[1] The first definite mention of the old grammar school is found in a deed dated 4 August 1469, when the Abbess of Syon granted to John Gardyner, of Bailrigg (near Lancaster), a lease of a water-mill on the River Lune and some land nearby for two hundred years to maintain a chaplain to celebrate worship in the Church of St. Mary, Lancaster, and to instruct boys in grammar freely, "unless perchance something shall be voluntarily offered by their friends".

In 1472, John Gardyner's will made further provisions for the endowment of the school, and also for William Baxstonden to keep the school so long as he could teach the boys. In 1682, the school was rebuilt and in 1852 was removed from the old site on the slopes by the priory to the outskirts of the city, where it now stands (though the city has expanded around it, so they are no longer the outskirts).

This building (now known as the Old Building), which stands on the north side of East Road, was designed by the local architects Sharpe and Paley.[2] The foundation stone was laid on 5 May 1851 by Rt Revd James Prince Lee, the Bishop of Manchester.[3] The title "Royal" was granted by Queen Victoria in the same year.[2] This building has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.[4]

In 1969, the school celebrated its quincentenary and was visited by HM The Queen. In 1995, the school received a visit from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, The Rt Hon Roger Freeman MP.

In 2001, to mark the 150th anniversary of becoming the Royal Grammar School, the school welcomed The Princess Royal.

In 2011, the school was granted Academy status.


Old Building.

Dates are of taking office. Source Murray.

  • (1235) Thomas de Kirkham
  • Before 1284 Magr. William de Lancaster
  • Before 1291 Magr. Thomas de Kirkham
  • c.1311 Magr. William de Lancaster
  • Before 1338 John Banastre
  • 1472 William Baxstonden
  • Before 1501 Sir Ralph Elcock
  • Before 1547 John Lunde
  • Before 1553 Robert Mackerell
  • Before 1613 Mr Walden
  • Before 1613 Rev. Roger Brook M.A
  • 1621 Rev. John Foster
  • 1631 Rev. James Schoolcroft M.A.
  • 1653 Rev. Michael Altham
  • 1663 Edward Holden
  • 1677 Rev. John Barrow M.A.,
  • 1681 Thomas Lodge
  • 1690 Rev. William Bordley, M.A.,
  • 1708 Rev. Thomas Holme.
  • 1725 Stephen Lewis
  • 1733 Rev. William Johnson, M.A..
  • 1765 Rev. James Watson
  • 1794 Rev. John Widditt
  • 1802 Rev. Joseph Rowley, M.A.,
  • 1812 Rev. John Beethom, M.A.,
  • 1850 Rev. Thomas Faulkner Lee, D.D
  • 1872 Rev. William Emmanuel Pryke, M.A.,
  • 1893 George Alfred Stocks, M.A.,
  • 1903 Rev. Herbert Armstrong Watson, D.D.,
  • 1912 Rev. John Henry Shackleton Bailey, D.D.
  • 1939 Robert Raymond Timberlake, M.A.,
  • 2012 The Aftermath of Mr Jarman?

The School Song

     Do you recall the School-house on the hill,  Where through the open windows crept the sun,
     And waked us from our slumbers ere our will  Would credit that the day had yet begun?
     Do you remember how the thrushes sang, And blackbirds piped at that same dawn of day?
     Do you remember how among them rang  A robin's tender note—now grave, now gay?

     Can you still see the Castle on the mount?  (What though the mist of years rolls thick and dark!) 
     She smiled on us, we said, as one who'd count  How many boys still wore the Red Rose mark.
     For here's to the Red Rose,
     The Lancaster Red Rose, Old John o' Gaunt's Red Rose,
     The Royal School's Red Rose. The Barons are vanished;
     The knights are all dead; The old order's banished—
     Yet the rose still is red.   
     Do you recall the School-house on the hill, Where through the open windows crept the sun,
     And waked us from our slumbers ere our will  Would credit that the day had yet begun?
     Do you remember when we stood at last, And watched the old gate close on lingering feet,
     And faced the world beyond—a world so vast, With toil and grief we knew not, dared not meet ?
     Do you remember all the years, when yet Old friends could meet and greet us every hour;
     And all we loved were true?    Could we forget, T'would mark the loss of Nature's dower.
                                                                                              H. H. WATSON.


The 2006 Ofsted report stated that Teaching and learning are outstanding throughout the school..[5]

In 2005 just under three-quarters of A level entries resulted in grades A or B (excluding General Studies) whilst at GCSE three-quarters of all grades were A* or A, with nearly all pupils gaining 10 passes and five pupils gaining a clean sweep of A* grades.[6] Over 90% of students go on to further education and a number gain places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Notable former pupils

Former pupils are known as "Old Lancastrians". Notable ones include:


The school offers a wide range of sports to boys throughout their school careers. However, the school remains especially strong in cricket and rugby. Recent highlights include a victory over Charterhouse School in the final of the Lord's Taverners Cricketer Colts Trophy for Schools in 1999,[7] and a run to the semi final of the Daily Mail U18 Cup in 2004 by the school First XV.[8]

In 2008, LRGS won the Lancashire Cup in the U15 and U16 age groups.

In 2006, a student who plays American football was picked for All-Star University England team.[citation needed]

In the 2008/2009 season, LRGS won the Lancashire schools cup in the U18s and the U13s as well as winning the Floodlit cup for Lancashire and Cheshire in the U16s. They also set a new record with four teams reaching the county finals.

In 2009, the U13s and U14s reached the finals of the Lancashire Cup, however both lost narrowly against Manchester Grammar School.

In 2010, the LRGS Cross Country Squad became North Of England Schools Cross Country Champions for the first time.

In 2010, the 1st XV for Rugby, won the Lancashire Cup Final, and became champions in a hard fought match against Merchant Taylor's Crosby, this achievement was followed by the U14s and the U15s as they were victorious in finals against Merchant Taylor's Crosby and Manchester Grammar School, respectively.

In 2010, LRGS also became the U19 and U16 district champions for table tennis.

In 2011 the Cross Country team became Northern Schools Champions for the second time, winning four out of the five races.

Boat Club

Lancaster Royal Grammar School Boat Club was first founded in 1948.[9] They were tenants of Lancaster John O' Gaunt Rowing Club from 1985 to 2011.[10] In 2011 the Boat Club relocated to Halton Army Training Camp.

The boat club has had 15 years of national success under Tim Lucas achieving medal success in either the Schools' Head of the River Race, The National Schools Regatta or the National Rowing Championships for ten consecutive years from 1992 to 2002.[10] The club also made at least the final of a national event from 1992 to 2006. The club has had much international success with members of the boat club rowing at a national level, including the Munich International Regatta in 2006 and the Coupe de la Jeunesse in 2006.[11]

Combined Cadet Force

The School has had its own Combined Cadet Force (CCF) since 1914, although it was as that time known as the Officer Training Corps. Its roots, however, can be traced back further still, with "references to the existence at Lancaster of a Cadet Volunteer Battalion in the early nineteenth century".[12] By 1861, this Battalion was seventy strong, "when a silver bugle was presented to the contingent by Mrs Lee, wife of the Headmaster".[12]

The CCF at LRGS comprises Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force sections. Pupils in the Third Form and above are allowed to join. It parades on Tuesday afternoons after school and is voluntary. All sections participate in camps throughout the year, including an annual summer camp during the summer holidays, and an Easter camp involving adventurous training in which all three sections can participate.

The Army Section is approximately 105 boys strong. They participate in camps throughout the year including an annual camp that lasts in excess of one week, and an Easter Camp where they take part in adventure training activities. Annual Camp 2007 was at a CCF Central Camp at Wathgill, in North Yorkshire.

The Royal Air Force section comprises approximately 90 cadets including the girls from LGGS who were allowed to participate in the RAF Section from September 2011. Cadets in the RAF section receive flying lessons in the Grob Tutor T.1 aircraft at least once a term, and gliding lessons in the Grob Vigilant G 109 glider at least once a term. Other opportunites for flying and gliding scholarships, as well as various leadership courses, are available to those cadets who are keen and who meet the minimum requirements. As with the Army and Navy sections, the RAF cadets have the option of attending Easter and summer camps, which are always greatly enjoyed. The most recent RAF Easter camp was held at RAF Valley, with the summer camp being held at RAF Halton.

All three sections of the CCF learn how to use the L98-A2 Cadet GP Rifle. In order for the cadet to fire the rifle, the cadet must pass the test on the GP Rifle, which is why the Army section places particular emphasis on the training of the GP Rifle. The new recruits in the Army section are tested on the GP Rifle at a camp in Halton.

Other Success

Schools' Quiz Challenge

The LRGS senior team has enjoyed much success in the past, with the most recent entry netting them the Plate in 2011 and in 2010, winning the whole competition.

The juniors have won on 3 occasions (1995, 2007 and 2008) and hope to do well in this year's quiz. They are now through to the National Finals in Winchester, and will play against 7 other schools. In Winchester, the team won the Plate Competition (for first-round losers), which equals the senior record this year.


  1. ^ A.L. Murray. The Royal Grammar School Lancaster. A History. Heffer 1951.
  2. ^ a b Hartwell, Clare; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2009) [1969], Lancashire: North, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 410–411, ISBN 978-0-300-12667-9 
  3. ^ Hughes, John M. (2010), Edmund Sharpe: Man of Lancaster, John M. Hughes, p. 240 
  4. ^ "Royal Grammar School (Old School)", The National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), 2011,, retrieved 17 August 2011 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "BBC league table". BBC News. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "Lancaster Royal Grammar School | Boys' Grammar | State Boarding". LRGS. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  9. ^ British Rowing Almanack and ARA Year Book 2003. Hammersmith, London: The Amateur Rowing Association. 2003. p. 369. ISBN 978-0714652511. 
  10. ^ a b Sullivan, Steven. "History of Lancaster John O' Gaunt Rowing Club". Lancaster John O'Gaunt Rowing Club website. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  11. ^ Sullivan, Steven. "Lancaster John O' Gaunt Rowing Club - The 2000s". Lancaster John O'Gaunt Rowing Club website. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  12. ^ a b Fidler, J., Lancaster Royal Grammar School: A History of the OTC & CCF. York: G. H. Smith and Son, 2001. p. 1 ISBN 0 904775 27 5.

Coordinates: 54°02′49″N 2°47′21″W / 54.04694°N 2.78917°W / 54.04694; -2.78917

Lancashire Schools

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