Thetford Grammar School

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Thetford Grammar School
Old School at Thetford Grammar.jpg
"Old School" at Thetford Grammar School.
The building where Thomas Paine studied
Motto Loyaute me oblige
(Loyalty binds me)
Established c.7th century
1566 (refoundation)
Type Independent
Headteacher Mark Stephen Bedford[1]
Chair Maureen Eade
Location Bridge Street
IP24 3AF
52°24′49″N 0°44′40″E / 52.413527°N 0.744477°E / 52.413527; 0.744477Coordinates: 52°24′49″N 0°44′40″E / 52.413527°N 0.744477°E / 52.413527; 0.744477
DfE URN 121245 Tables
Students 241[1]
Gender Mixed
Ages 3–18
Houses Cole's, Cronshey's, Millington's, Reed's.
Former pupils Old Thetfordians

Thetford Grammar School is an independent co-educational school in Thetford, Norfolk, England. The school might date back to the 7th century, which would make it one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom.


The school website conjectures its origin traces back to 631,[2] and through its Roll of Headmasters to 1114. The Independent Schools Inspectorate assert in their 2012 report that "The school was originally founded in the 10th Century" but without any evidence provided.[3] It appears to have ceased from around 1496 until its refoundation from the will of Sir Richard Fulmerston in 1566.[4] The refoundation was confirmed by an Act of Parliament in 1610.[4] Part of the school is built on the site of a thirteenth-century Dominican Friary, which was built on, and incorporated parts of, the Norman cathedral.[5] This building, now known as "Old School", comprised the entire school for about 300 years, and is where Roger North and Thomas Paine were educated.

The school developed rapidly in the 1880s, and in 1888 Thetford Grammar School for Girls was built alongside the existing Grammar School. The school became a Voluntary controlled school in 1944, and remained in the state sector until 1981 when it regained its independent status. The original boys' school and the girls' grammar school merged in 1975 to form a new coeducational school.[2]

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ a b "EduBase - Thetford Grammar School". Department for Education. Edubase. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Thetford Grammar School - History Archived 2010-12-05 at the Wayback Machine., accessed 17 Aug 2009
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b 'Thetford, chapter 23: Of the school and hospital', An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 2 (1805), pp. 128-131. URL: Date accessed: 18 August 2009
  5. ^ Channel 4, Time Team: Thetford, Norfolk, 17 January 1999, accessed 18 Aug 2009

External links[edit]