Stowe School

Coordinates: 52°01′57″N 1°01′08″W / 52.0326°N 1.0190°W / 52.0326; -1.0190
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Stowe School
Stowe House was completed by 1779.
, ,
MK18 5EH

Coordinates52°01′57″N 1°01′08″W / 52.0326°N 1.0190°W / 52.0326; -1.0190
TypePublic school
Private school, day & boarding
MottoLatin: Persto et Praesto
(I stand firm and I stand first)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Established11 May 1923; 101 years ago (1923-05-11)
Local authorityBuckinghamshire
Department for Education URN110548 Tables
Chairman of governorsSimon Creedy-Smith[3]
HeadmasterAnthony Wallersteiner[1][2]
Age13 to 18
PublicationThe Stoic
Former pupilsOld Stoics
School fees£46,701 per year[4]
US$58,097.91 per year

Stowe School is a public school (English fee-charging boarding and day school) for pupils aged 13–18 in Stowe, England. It opened on 11 May 1923, initially with 99 schoolboys, and with J. F. Roxburgh as the first headmaster. The school is a member of the 18 member Rugby Group, the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, and the G30 Schools' Group. Originally for boys only, the school is now coeducational, with 541 boys and 374 girls - 915 students enrolled in the school as of September 2023.

As of the 2024/25 Academic Year, Stowe School charges up to £46,701 per year[5] (£15,567 per term, three terms per academic year for 2024/25). The school offers three fee brackets based on the type of placement. Boarders are charged £46,701 per year, while pupils in the limited "Day in Boarding" program pay between £33,576 and £38,076 annually. These students are assigned to one of the school's boarding houses and have the opportunity to board there for a maximum of two nights per week. Pupils in one of the school's three Day Houses—Winton, Cheshire, and Croft—are charged £28,464 per academic year. Students in the Day houses are not given the option to board. The school provides bursaries and other means of financial assistance to admitted students who exhibit outstanding abilities in the Arts, Academics, Sports, and other areas. A typical scholarship at Stowe is worth 5% of the school fee.[6]

The school has been based since its beginnings at Stowe House, formerly the country seat of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos. Along with many of the other buildings on the school's estate, the main house is now a Grade I Listed Building and is maintained (since 1997) by the Stowe House Preservation Trust.


Stowe School opened in 1923. The main building is Stowe House, whose exterior was completed by 1779. Funding for the school came through the Rev. Percy Warrington and the Martyrs Memorial Trust.[7] The school's first architect was Clough Williams-Ellis.

Stowe School

The first Headmaster was J. F. Roxburgh. He aimed to focus on the individual child and introduce them to beauty and learning; he wanted a civilised school founded on Christian values.[8]

The Beatles played a concert at Stowe School on 4 April 1963. A recording of the concert was revealed in 2023, and leaked to the public later in the year.[9][10]


The school's cricket ground is used as a first class ground by Northamptonshire CCC.

The Stowe Corner of Silverstone Circuit is named after the school.[11]

A Southern Railway "Schools Class" steam locomotive, No. 928, which was built in 1934 was named after the school, and is preserved at the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex.[12]

In 2016, a Daily Telegraph investigator posing as a parent of a Russian pupil was told by the then school registrar that while pupils would always be expected to pass the entrance exam, it would help secure a place if a borderline child's parents were able to donate "about £100,000 or something like that."[13]

Boarding houses[edit]

There are 13 boarding houses: 8 boys' houses and 5 girls' houses. There are also three Day Houses - 2 boys' houses and 1 girls' house. The boarding houses are mostly named after members of the family of Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. Each house has a number or letter assigned to it.

Name Named After House Number/Letter
Bruce (Boys) Lady Mary Bruce (1710–1738), the daughter of Charles Bruce, 4th Earl of Elgin, and the wife of Henry Brydges, 2nd Duke of Chandos. 1
Temple (Boys) Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham; Earl Temple 2
Grenville (Boys) George Grenville, the husband of Hester Temple, 1st Countess Temple, mother of Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple, and sister of Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham 3
Chandos (Boys) Duke of Buckingham and Chandos; Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos 4
Cobham (Boys) Viscount Cobham;Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham, had a large renovation after construction of a new building, opened in early 2019, with the old Cobham location being used as the site for Winton and Cheshire 5
Chatham (Boys) William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, husband of Hester Grenville, sister of Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple 6
Grafton (Boys) There is no known family connection, the name coming from the local fox hunt, the Grafton Hunt, which takes its name in turn from the Duke of Grafton. Grafton also has a history of supplying the Stowe Beagles with talented Masters and Hunt Staff, many of whom have continued to become Masters of packs around the Country. 7
Walpole (Boys) This is not a family name. Named after Horace Walpole, who wrote some famous letters about his visits to Stowe in the 18th century. It was his father, Robert Walpole, who was the more notable Walpole in Britain's and Stowe's history, however. Viscount Cobham's political life started under Walpole but his subsequent opposition to him led Cobham to found a political dynasty that played a major part in politics until Victorian times (producing four Prime Ministers). To be named "Nugent" originally. 8
Nugent (Girls) Lady Mary Nugent, daughter of Robert Nugent, 1st Earl Nugent, married to George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham. Nugent was originally the 'waiting house' that some new boys entered until their preferred house had a space. (In the late 1960s, during the "boys only" era, there was a quiet joke to the effect that Nugent was for the "new gents".) N
Lyttelton (Girls – formerly Boys) Baron Lyttelton,succeeded to the Viscounty of Cobham since Charles George Lyttelton, 5th Baron Lyttelton, after the death of the Richard Plantagenet Campbell Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, and into which title the Barony is now merged. Originally "Stanhope House", which became the Careers, International, and Skills Development departments of the school. Named after Lady Hester Stanhope, niece of William Pitt the Younger, who was the niece of Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple 0
Queen's (Girls) Opened in September 2007 and officially opened by the Queen in November 2007 and thus named after her. A
Stanhope (Girls) Opened in May 2009 and officially opened by Sir Nicholas Winton. B
West (Girls - formerly mixed)[14] Opened in September 2014 as a Sixth Form House. W
Winton (Boys) Opened in September 2019 as a day house for boys. Named after Sir Nicholas Winton. 9
Cheshire (Girls) Opened in September 2019 as a day house for girls. Named after Leonard Cheshire. C
Croft (Boys) Opened in September 2023 as a day house for Boys. Named after Colonel Andrew Croft. T

Cricket ground[edit]

Cricket pavilion and pitch

The first recorded match on the school cricket ground came in 1928 when Stowe School played St Paul's School.[15] Buckinghamshire played their first Minor Counties Championship match there in 1947, when the opponents were Berkshire. Between 1947 and 1982 the ground held five Minor Counties Championship matches, the last of which saw Buckinghamshire draw against Bedfordshire.[16] The ground has also hosted a single MCCA Knockout Trophy match which saw Buckinghamshire play Bedfordshire.[17]

The ground has also held a single List A match for Northamptonshire in the 2005 totesport League, against Gloucestershire.[18] and has held fourteen Second XI fixtures for the Northamptonshire Second XI in the Second XI Championship and Second XI Trophy.[19][20]


  • 1923–1949: J. F. Roxburgh
  • 1949–1958: Eric Reynolds
  • 1958–1964: Donald Crichton-Miller
  • 1964–1979: Robert Drayson
  • 1979–1989: Christopher Turner
  • 1989–2003: Jeremy Nichols
  • 2003–present: Anthony Wallersteiner

Notable former pupils[edit]

Former pupils of Stowe School are known as Old Stoics. Matthew Vaughn is currently the President of the Old Stoic Society.[21]
Old Stoics include:

Notable masters and staff[edit]

Coat of arms[edit]

Coat of arms of Stowe School
Granted in 1923.[29]
Quarterly indented Argent and Or, first a lion rampant Azure, second a pile Gules, third a pile Vert thereon a cross of the second bearing five torteaux, fourth three martlets of the third.
Persto et praesto

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Alasdair MacDonald, Stowe: House and School, London: W. S. Cowell, 1951 [ISBN missing]


  1. ^ "URN 110548 Stowe School". Edubase/DfE. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Stowe School – Headmaster's Introduction". Archived from the original on 16 July 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Stowe School – Staff Directory". Archived from the original on 13 October 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Current Fees". Stowe School. Retrieved 13 March 2024.
  5. ^ Stowe, School. "Stowe School Fees". Stowe School. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  6. ^ Stowe, School. "Stowe School Bursaries and Scholarships". Stowe School. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  7. ^ W. A. Evershed, Party and Patronage in the Church of England 1800–1945, D. Phil. thesis, Oxford University,1985, gives a detailed and well-referenced account of the questionable methods employed by Warrington. The Martyr's Memorial Trust appointed the first Governing Body, whose Chairman from August 1922 was Lord Gisborough.
  8. ^ Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle By Anthony Russell
  9. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (9 April 2023). "Please Please Us: Lost tape of Beatles school gig could be saved for the nation". The Observer. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
  10. ^ "The Beatles - Stowe School Complete Concert (4-4-1963 / Original Recording)". YouTube.
  11. ^ [1] Archived 29 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Bluebell Railway Locomotives – Stowe". Archived from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  13. ^ Claire Newell; Luke Heighton; Edward Malnick; Camilla Turner (9 December 2016). "The inside story:How to buy a place at a top school". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Stowe School – West". Stowe School. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  15. ^ Other matches played on Stowe School Ground Archived 4 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Minor Counties Championship Matches played on Stowe School Ground Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Minor Counties Trophy Matches played on Stowe School Ground Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. (7 August 1983).
  18. ^ List-A Matches played on Stowe School Ground Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. (19 June 2005)
  19. ^ Second XI Championship Matches played on Stowe School Ground Archived 4 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Second XI Trophy Matches played on Stowe School Ground Archived 4 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^
  22. ^ Witherow, John, ed. (21 June 2018). "Obituary – Reg Gadney". The Times. No. 72567. p. 54. ISSN 0140-0460.
  23. ^ Denis Greenhill (11 April 1992). "Obituary: Sir Peter Hayman". The Independent. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  24. ^ "Scion of distinguished recusant family". 2 December 2022.
  25. ^ "Bubby Upton". Horse and Hound. Retrieved 12 May 2024.
  26. ^ "Stowe House – The David Wynne Collection". Archived from the original on 22 September 2020.
  27. ^ Crick, Michael (18 November 2015). "Peter Farquhar obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  28. ^ "'Evil' churchwarden guilty of murdering author". BBC News. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  29. ^ "Stowe School". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 15 February 2023.

External links[edit]