The King's School, Grantham

I attended The King's School Grantham for my secondary education from 1969. It was a boarding and day school with the boarders forming 'school house' and living on-site at the school. I was a boarder. Later the boarders were to move elsewhere in the town, and later still the school ceased to be a boarding school at all. Here are some of the things I've remembered about the school (hopefully 30 years have not distorted them):

There were various dormitories (dorms) and study areas in the boarding school, and we shared our dining hall with the rest of the school for lunch. There were a couple of 'masters' who lived in with the boarders and looked after our welfare, and ensured 'lights out'. Also during the day/evening there was a Matron or two to look after us as well. As first year boarders the matron would often assist with us in washing our hair (over a sink) and if we were unwell, would assume the role of nurse to us. In a broad sense, the matron was our mother substitute and the master our father!.

Here is the main entrance to the boarding house. It led into a staircase that ascended up and a corridor to the right. Here are specific details as remembered for the numbers on the photo:

  1. This was a dorm. In 1969 it was for first years (age 11) and it was here all of our year (in school house) were to sleep. A fairly traumatic first few weeks as we all left home to live at school! On that floor (at 4.) where toilets, bathrooms and wash rooms.
  2. This room was partitioned to be personal rooms and studys for the sixth form prefects in school house.
  3. This is the day room. A room that had a TV and space to play games. During the miners strikes of the 1970's when there were many power cuts, this room was the focus of the boarders in the evening. Under torch and candle light we would have 'sing songs' etc.
  4. The central section of the house, housed the main staircase. Inside the door to the left was a drying room where laundry would be hung to dry. To the right was a music room that had one of those pianos that could play by itself (well if you pumped the pedals) - there were rolls and rolls of 'programming' that were interpreted via it's holes to play music. It could also be played manually or to accompany the automated music. On the next floor, matron had a room where you could report if unwell. On each floor would be toilets. There was also a door down to the cellar (out of bounds) and here was the boilers etc that kept us warm
  5. Outside the main door were a couple of grills in the tarmac and these were used to deliver coal (and later oil) direct to the cellar for the boilers)
  6. This was also a day room, I think for years 1 to 3 (11-13 years). I remember it mainly as having a table tennis table in it, and we had great fun playing on it. 6/7 are part of a mid-nineteenth century house that was part removed to allow the bigger building on it's left to be built in 1904
  7. These were 6th form day studies. In the evening sixth former's could study in here (instead of re-visiting school for home work) and it provided some personal space during the day. I think there were about four of us per study. Outside the studies ran a corridor that ran from the main door through to the dining room. It was in this corridor that 'line up' was held. 5 minutes before every meal a bell rang and all the boarders (except sixth former's) were to line up and have their hands inspected, top and bottom, for cleanliness before meals,
  8. This building is not part of the boarding school, but used for science (I remember making polymer in the top classroom, that we dripped down to the quad). This block was built around 1957

To the right of the above photo, at right angles (forming a second side to the quad) are some more boarding buildings:

  1. Main entrance to the school dining hall. The dining hall ran the width of the 3 bays backwards. Access could also be made to a corridor to the left to access boarding accommodation (6.). Through the dinning room there was access to further boarding school rooms (ie stairs to 5.4.7). This dining was completed in 1855, and the dorm in 1893.
  2. This walk way led to a study (3) and immediately behind it was a 'boot room' where shoes could be cleaned etc. It had some Bunsen burners (or similar) for some reason and I remember melting polish for polishing CCF (Combined Cadet Force) boots and melting lead (cant remember why we were doing that!)
  3. This was a study room. I cant remember, for what year, but it was a desirable spot. It had the one main entrance (via 2) (and a stair case to the masters room (4)) and thus made it quite private and not on the way to anywhere else! When I was here we tried to manufacture ginger beer (under the stairs). Our brewery was never discovered, but I don't recall it's product being of particular note either!
  4. This was one of the house masters rooms. It had a door into the dorm (5) and a staircase that I think came out through the study below (3)
  5. This was a main dorm. It was, if I remember correctly, for the second year. Another dorm for all the year, and a bit more fun as we had acclimatised to life in a boarding school.
  6. More 6th form studies here
  7. The primary house master had his room up here. I remember that we were often able to join him to watch TV, all sat around the floor, rather than go to the main day room. Sadly I cant remember the names of the house masters nor matrons. This building was the original head masters house, built in 1528
  8. The head master and admin' staff had rooms here. It was not really part of the boarding school except for a room behind the tree, and one above it, that were further dorms. The upper one having a boarded in garderobe!.
  9. St Wulfrums church

Continuing right, around the quad we come to the 'new' block:

This was pure school, and nothing to do with the boarding house.

  1. The 4 story block was new, apparently built in the late 60's just before I arrived. I remember that art was on the top floor and on one of the others was the biology lab.
  2. To the right you can see the main school hall. This is where the daily assemblies took place as well as any special events.
  3. Between the two, you can see the entrance door, but you could also access the new block from the road on the left.
  4. Running down the left were some temporary classrooms and the CCF hut.
  5. Behind was the gym, and behind that the swimming pool.

Coming round the quad to the fourth side, we come across more classrooms:

  1. This floor of the block was the toilets. This block was built around 1957
  2. The middle floor was for metal work and had all the vices, saw etc.
  3. The classroom facing the street at the top was for tech drawing. We also sometimes used it for home work.
  4. This dark tunnel, led the way to the school gates. Massive wooden structures that filled the whole void but also had a pedestrian size door in it. Before the new road entrance after the hall, this was the main entrance
  5. This block of classrooms was for chemistry and physics. Great fun burning magnesium etc and doing countless other experiments! When playing ball games in the quad at evenings or weekends, this wall was often used behind the stumps or just to bounce balls off. This part of the school was built in 1904, for science
  6. More classrooms here. I remember history was always in the lower right corner of this block, facing Brook street/Castle Gate. 1st to 5th year boarders returned to this block in the evening for supervised homework. It would often be a sixth former who supervised, but sometimes the house master too, and he was certainly likely to drop in at any time to ensure discipline was being maintained.

That's a tour around the quad, but there are more buildings, so here is an aerial tour of the school:

  1. Site of the swimming pool.
  2. Gymnasium
  3. Hall
  4. New build block from around 2008
  5. Quad and technical block (1957)
  6. Classrooms (1904)
  7. Classrooms (1957)
  8. Boarding house
  9. Boarding house
  10. Dining hall and dorm
  11. Headmasters' house
  12. 'Old School' now library (1497) wikipedia
  13. Headmaster's office, offices, dorms and House master's room
  14. Study and housemasters room
  15. New block (1960's)
  16. Portable classrooms and CCF hut
  17. New 6th form block in area of old swimming pool.

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