Bryanston School

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Bryanston School
Bryanston School - - 1741983.jpg
Motto Et nova et vetera
(Both the new and the old)
Established 1928

Public school

Independent school
Religion Church of England
Head Sarah Thomas
Founder J. G. Jeffreys
Location Bryanston
Blandford Forum
DT11 0PX
50°51′58″N 2°11′10″W / 50.866°N 2.186°W / 50.866; -2.186Coordinates: 50°51′58″N 2°11′10″W / 50.866°N 2.186°W / 50.866; -2.186
DfE URN 113910 Tables
Staff 118
Students 809 pupils
Gender Mixed
Ages 13–18
Houses 12
Colours Dark Blue & Yellow          
Former pupils Old Bryanstonians

Bryanston School is a co-educational independent school for both day and boarding pupils, located next to the village of Bryanston, and near the town of Blandford Forum, in Dorset in South West England. It was founded in 1928, it occupies a palatial country house designed and built in 1889–94 by Richard Norman Shaw, the champion of a renewed academic tradition, for Viscount Portman, the owner of large tracts in the West End of London, in the early version of neo-Georgian style[1] that Sir Edwin Lutyens called "Wrenaissance", to replace an earlier house, and is set in 400 acres (1.6 km2).

Bryanston is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Eton Group. It has a reputation as a liberal and artistic school using some ideas of the Dalton Plan.[citation needed]


The school opened on 24 January 1928 with 23 pupils and seven members of staff; in 2004, the school had around 650 pupils and 80 teachers.

During the mid-1930s, Bryanston School was the location of Anglo-German youth camps where the Hitler Youth and Boy Scouts tried to develop links.[2]

In 2005 the school was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel.

Gateway to Bryanston School
Main Hall

In 2014 the school opened a new music building, the Tom Wheare Music School, designed by Hopkins Architects and named after a headteacher of Bryanston, the 300-seat concert hall was named after conductor Sir Mark Elder, who had been a pupil at the school.[3] The interior of the building won a 2015 Wood Award.[4]


The school has many facilities at the disposal of its pupils, including:

  • Over 400 acres (1.6 km2) of grounds
  • A 25-metre indoor heated pool
  • 4 indoor squash courts
  • 3 indoor eton fives courts
  • 1 Free weights room
  • Gym (Rowing machines, treadmills, cross-trainers, exercise bikes, benches, multi gyms)
  • 2 sport halls (1 wooden gymnasium)
  • A cafe
  • Up to 50 tennis courts ( 37 permanent: 10 grass, 12 carpet, 15 hard)
  • 2 AstroTurf pitches
  • Medical centre, with over 20 beds
  • 600 seat theatre (Coade Hall, named after Thorold Coade)
  • 3 tier science centre with 1 tier for each of biology, chemistry and physics
  • Cafeteria
  • A darkroom
  • 2 tier technology centre (upstairs ICT and Design & Technology downstairs)
  • Tom Wheare Music School, hosting approximately 600 individual music lessons, a senior orchestra, string chamber orchestra, junior wind band, concert band, six choirs, choral society, brass trio, wind, string and vocal ensembles, many different chamber groups, jazz bands and rock bands.
  • Outdoor Greek Theatre
  • St Martin's Church in the grounds of the school
  • St Anthony's Chapel in the heart of the main house


  • Allan (Girls)
  • Beechwood (Junior Boys)
  • Cranborne (Junior Boys)
  • Connaught (Senior Boys)
  • Dorset (Senior Boys)
  • Greenleaves (Girls)
  • Harthan (Girls)
  • Hunter (Girls)
  • Portman (Senior Boys)
  • Purbeck (Girls)
  • Salisbury (Senior Boys)
  • Shaftesbury (Senior Boys)

Heads of Bryanston[edit]

Old Bryanstonians[edit]

Alumni of the school are known as Old Bryanstonians; there is an alumni organisation called the Bryanston Society. "The Society exists to further the cause of Bryanston in the broadest possible sense. It aims to bring together the whole Bryanston family through social and sporting events."[5]

Other information[edit]

  • The school estate has Europe's tallest London Plane tree (160 ft).
  • Each year, the JACT Ancient Greek Summer School is held at Bryanston; the school has played host to many of the United Kingdom's classicists, both as teachers and pupils.
  • The school hosts the annual Dorset Opera Festival, which combines amateur and professional performers. Operas are staged at the conclusion of a two-week summer school.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "An approximation to what was later to be called Neo-Georgian", according to Roderick Gradidge, Dream Houses: the Edwardian ideal 1980:49
  2. ^ The mystery of Hitler's 'spyclists' Radio 4 Today Programme
  3. ^ Diarmuid MacDonagh (14 September 2014) "School opens new state-of-the-art £8.5m music facility", Dorset Echo. Retrieved 2015-12-05.
  4. ^ Wood Awards 2015: Interiors, RIBA Journal, 10 November 2015.
  5. ^ Bryanston Society objectives Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Bryanston School, UK.
  6. ^ Christiansen, Rupert (4 August 2009). "Opera singing is not just for professionals". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]