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Wellington College, Berkshire

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Title: Wellington College, Berkshire  
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Subject: NatWest Schools Cup, G20 Schools, National Schools Sevens, Lucy Pearson (cricketer), Thom Evans
Collection: 1859 Establishments in England, Boarding Schools in Berkshire, Cricket Grounds in Berkshire, Educational Institutions Established in 1859, Grade II* Listed Buildings in Berkshire, Independent Schools in Bracknell Forest, International Baccalaureate Schools in England, Member Schools of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, Monuments and Memorials in Berkshire, Monuments to Arthur Wellesley, 1St Duke of Wellington, Racquets Venues, Round Square Schools, Schools with a Royal Charter
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Wellington College, Berkshire

View of the main College buildings and South Front.

Wellington College is a British co-educational boarding and day independent school in the village of Crowthorne, Berkshire. Wellington is a registered charity (#309093)[1] and currently has just under 1050 pupils aged between 13 and 18.[2] It was built as a national monument to the first Duke of Wellington (1769–1852), after whom the College is named.[3] Her Majesty Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone in 1856 and inaugurated the School's public opening on 29 January 1859.

Many former Wellington pupils fought in the trenches straight after leaving school during the First World War, volunteering for military action, a conflict in which 725 of them lost their lives.[4] A further 501 former pupils were killed in action in the Second World War.[5]

The school is a member of the Rugby Group, which includes Harrow School and Charterhouse School, and is also a member of the G20 Schools group. The Good Schools Guide calls the school "a serious player in the field of education".[6]


  • History 1
    • The Wellington Academy 1.1
    • Wellington College International 1.2
  • Architecture 2
  • Location 3
  • Masters (headmasters) of Wellington 4
  • Former pupils 5
  • Sport 6
  • The Wellingtonian 7
  • Wellington Television 8
  • Combined Cadet Force 9
  • Press 10
  • Houses 11
  • The Old Wellingtonian Society 12
  • See also 13
  • Notes 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


Wellington College was granted its royal charter in 1853 as the Royal and Religious Foundation of The Wellington College, and was opened in 1859. Its first Master[Note 1] was Edward White Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury. The college's Visitor is HM The Queen.[7]

Originally, the school supported children of deceased officers who had held commissions in the Army. In 1952 a Supplementary Royal Charter extended the privilege of eligibility to the orphan children of deceased officers of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force. A recent change early in 2006 extended the privilege to the orphan children of deceased servicemen or servicewomen of Her Majesty's Armed Forces irrespective of rank, and to the orphan children of persons who, in the sole opinion of Governors, died in acts of selfless bravery. However, only a minority of the children at the school come from military families.

By the 1950s and 1960s, the school was considering becoming co-educational, but the lack of financial resources prevented it from doing so. The first girls were admitted into the Sixth Form in the 1970s and the school became fully co-educational in 2005.

On 6 September 2013, readers of the The Week magazine voted Wellington College "The Most Forward-Thinking School in the UK", and four days later, Tatler magazine chose Wellington College as the "Best Senior School in Britain", at its Schools Awards evening in London.[8]

The Wellington Academy

Wellington has sponsored the founding of a new independent state school in Wiltshire, The Wellington Academy,[9] which opened in 2009.

Wellington College International

Wellington is in partnership with Wellington College International Tianjin, in the city of Tianjin in mainland China, modelled on the buildings and ethos of the college, and which opened in August 2011. Wellington is also partnered with Wellington College International Shanghai, in the city of Shanghai (also in mainland China), now open.


The college was designed by John Shaw Jr., who had also previously worked as an architect for South-East England, in the Royal County of Berkshire, approximately from Heathrow Airport and close to the town of Reading, Berkshire. The grounds of the college include a golf course and woodland in addition to playing fields. The grounds are also notable in that they contain many unusual ant and spider species, and were frequented by the entomologist Horace Donisthorpe, who collected extensively there. The grounds also contain an area of SSSI.

Masters (headmasters) of Wellington

Former pupils

Notable former pupils include historian Rupert Croft-Cooke, poet Gavin Ewart, composer John Gardner, world champion motor racing driver James Hunt, Leader of the House of Lords Lord Strathclyde, journalist and television presenter Peter Snow, the UK Pop Idol winner Will Young, BRIT Award-nominated singer Nerina Pallot, and the rugby union players James Haskell and the brothers Max and Thom Evans.[12]


Wellington College was one of the 21 founding members of the Rugby Football Union, and pupils at the school have played rugby union. In 2008, the College became the first school to win the Daily Mail Cup at both U15 and U18 level in the same year, beating Millfield School and St Benedict's School, Ealing in their respective finals at Twickenham on 2 April 2008.[13][14] In 2011 the 1st VII claimed the Rosslyn Park National Schoolboy 7s title for a record eleventh time, retaining the title and winning two out the last three national tournaments. A number of Old Wellingtonians play professional rugby union, including: James Haskell (England), Paul Doran-Jones (England), Max Lahiff (London Irish), Sam Edgerly and Christian Lewis-Pratt (both England 7s), Max Evans and Thom Evans (Scotland). The school has one of only around 20 racquets courts in the UK,[15] and until recently three Eton Fives courts, now a café bar as part of the sports club.[16] Wellington College has been named as number one golf college in the UK on a few occasions with wins in 2009 at St Andrews and 2012 at Carnoustie in the Independent Schools Golf Association (ISGA) National Finals.

The Wellingtonian

First published in 1859, the same year as the College’s Foundation, The Wellingtonian has provided coverage of the current affairs of Wellington College and the wider world for over 150 years.

Student writers contribute to the magazine; student designers design the magazine; and student Editors compile the magazine. In recent years, The Wellingtonian has featured interviews with famous alumni of the College, including Sebastian Faulks and Will Young.

The editors of the magazine (currently Anthony Morris and Simon Soros) typically publish up to six print editions of the magazine each year.[17]

Wellington Television

In October 2011, Wellington College students founded WTV, an online television channel.[18] The channel is operated entirely by students and puts out student-related episode-based content every few weeks as well as one-off short films. WTV created a James Bond parody featuring Headmaster Anthony Seldon[19] which was featured in the February edition of Private Eye. In the past, WTV has interviewed Ben Goldacre, Alexander Armstrong, AC Grayling and Tim Smit at the 2012 Sunday Times Festival of Education.[20] During the Round Square International Conference,[21] WTV interviewed former King Constantine II of Greece, Karen Darke, Colin Jackson and Jasmine Whitbread.[22] In 2014, it interviewed Simon Singh and Will Poulter, as well Katie Hopkins.

Combined Cadet Force

The Wellington College Combined Cadet Force, or CCF, has existed in its various forms since 1880. Commissioned members of the teaching staff who serve as CCF officers are attached to The Duke of Wellington's Regiment. The college also traditionally has two teams of field gun runners, and two runs are made annually at the college speech day.[23] In 2012 field gun teams from the College took part in the British Military Tournament at Earl's Court, including female runners for the first time at the event.[24] The Wellington College CCF is split into seven categories. These are Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Marines, Cavalry, Drum Corps and Marching Band.


The school has been the subject of reports on bullying.[25] In April 2006, the college attracted widespread publicity when it became the first school in the UK to introduce 'happiness lessons' to the curriculum,[26] in conjunction with a team at Cambridge University.

In 2003 Paul Doran-Jones, James Haskell and a female student were suspended from Wellington College after a camera was set up to secretly record Doran-Jones and his girlfriend having sex in a boys' dormitory, breaking the no-sex rule.[27]

In 2005 the school was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel, exposed by The Times newspaper, which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents.[28] Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling three million pounds into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared.[29] However, Mrs Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had always been exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business, were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with each other, and were unaware of the change in the law (on which they had not been consulted). She wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general, saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the consumer. They are schools that have quite openly continued to follow a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had changed."[30]

In July 2012, it was reported in The Guardian that a member of the teaching staff, Bruce Roth, was found guilty on a total of 17 counts of sexually abusing pupils at the college and at a school in Rochester in Kent, at which he was formerly employed and had taught during the years 1987–1994.[31]


There are 17 houses at Wellington. Most contain boarders and a small number of day pupils, although two, Wellesley and Raglan, accept only day pupils.[32] Each house is either an 'in-house' or an 'out-house'. In-houses are located within the main school buildings and quads; out-houses are located elsewhere on the grounds. Each house has aspects distinguishing it from other houses, such as its own colours and emblem, as well as different locations around the college.
House Colours Emblem Gender Boarding or Day
Anglesey Maroon/Blue Star F Boarding
Apsley Blue/Black Pineapple F Boarding
Benson Pale Blue/Silver Rose M Boarding
Beresford Light Blue/Black Horseshoe M Boarding
Blücher Black/White Fleur de Lis M Boarding
Combermere Gold/Brown Lion F Boarding
Hardinge Green/Brown Anchor M/F Sixth Form Boarding
Hill Purple/Silver Skull and Crossbone M Boarding
Hopetoun Yellow/Blue Moon and Star F Boarding
Lynedoch Navy Blue/Black Iron cross M Boarding
Murray Purple/Black Moon M Boarding
Orange Orange/Black Double-headed dragon F Boarding
Picton Pink/Brown Eagle M Boarding
Raglan Red/Silver Panther M Day
Stanley Red/Blue Unicorn M Boarding
Talbot Maroon/White Iron Cross M Boarding
Wellesley Pink/White Pelican F Day

The Orange, Combermere, Hopetoun and Anglesey were previously boys' houses, but changed to girls' houses between 2005 and 2011.[33]

The Old Wellingtonian Society

The Old Wellingtonian Society is the alumni society for the college and was founded in 1890. The Old Wellingtonian Society was set up to further the interests of the college and its past and present members, and to keep former pupils in touch with each other and with the school.[34]

The Old Wellingtonian Society maintains a register of names of all who have passed through the college since the school's opening in 1859 and the addresses of all living alumni.

See also


  1. ^ The headmaster is known as "the Master"


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Roberts, Andrew (17 February 2011). "The Duke of Wellington: Soldiering to Glory". BBC History. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Wellington College pupils lie down in tribute to WWI fallen". BBC News. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  5. ^ Webb, sam (9 November 2012). "The glorious dead: Students re-enact horror of Somme in tribute to former pupils killed in the trenches of the First World War". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  6. ^ The Good Schools Guide.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Two Awards in One Week - Wellington College. ISBI Schools. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  9. ^ The Wellington Academy.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ Vimeo - WTV
  19. ^
  20. ^ Festival of EducationThe Sunday Times
  21. ^ Conference
  22. ^ RSIC Tuesday
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ (subscription required)
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^

External links

  • Wellington College website
  • Website for Old Wellingtonians
  • Website of Old Wellingtonian Lodge #3404
  • Profile at the Good Schools Guide
  • The Wellington Academy website
  • Wellington Academy International Tainjin

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