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History of the School

Cranbrook’s history goes back to 1518 when a wealthy Yeoman bequeathed his ‘chief mansion’ to provide a ‘frescole house’ for the town’s children.  Today – nearly 500 years later – we remain true to that original principle of offering a free, first-class education to those living nearby.

As a selective grammar school we challenge the brightest boys and girls in the local area (along with boarders from further afield) to fulfil their true potential in the classroom and broader walks of life. Happily, our academic results and recent Ofsted rating suggest that we are managing to meet that aim without ever betraying our ‘frescole’ roots. Indeed, in our view, no other school blends the traditions of the State and Independent sectors so successfully.

Many things have changed at Cranbrook over the centuries but such evolution is as much a part of our identity as the site where the schools still sits. We treasure our heritage but are very much part of the here-and-now – shaping our practices and policies to meet present-day needs and tomorrow’s uncertainties. 

For further information about our past, please click on the PDF downloads on the right: thank you…