My Favourite History Place - Nuneaton's Old Grammar School


By David Paterson, published 9th November 2016

Near the centre of the largest town in Warwickshire, an oasis of calm encompasses the area of Nuneaton parish church, vicarage and Old Grammar School. Of the three  buildings, the Old Grammar School may be the least impressive but its history is just as eventful. Nuneaton’s Boys’ Free Grammar School, foundedaround 1540, began with income from a chantry, prudently shut early by local inhabitants who anticipated the effects of future policy towards chantry chapels. Royal patronage from King Edward VI in  552 ensured  its survival. The location ‘between the highway and the millpond’ suggested a site near the parish church of St Nicolas. In 1596 growth in both capital and  pupil numbers  encouraged Governors to rebuild even nearer the church and a century later a further rebuilding on the same site produced the edifice which still partly  survives today.

The year 1695 was a new beginning in many ways. For the previous 40 years teacher William Trevis, equally inclined to alcohol and sadistic beating of boys, had presided  over the decline of a school that had earlier produced some eminent classical scholars. After Trevis’s  death, a new building was seen as part of a new start with new Governors  (whose names still adorn the main entrance) and a new Master from faraway Chester. William Liptrott and his sons were to be in charge from 1695 to 1788...

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