A look into the past of St Bees School history
St Bees School and the surrounding village boast a rich and varied history. The school was founded in 1583 by Edmund Grindal, who was born in the village and went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1535, there would have been little opportunity for formal education in this area. As a result, the Archbishop petitioned Elizabeth I to establish a school on the basis that:
“Cowpland (now known as Copeland, the area around and including St Bees) is the ignorantest part in religion and most oppressed of covetous landlords of any part of this realm to my knowledge.”
St Bees School has been an integral part of this picturesque coastal village for many centuries. Parts of the original buildings are still in use, following significant expansion in 1844, and above the door of the famous Quadrangle you will find the Latin school motto, “Ingredere Ut Proficias: Enter so that you may make progress.”
We’ve had many students come through our doors here at St Bees over the years, many of which have gone on to do amazing things. Owen Lattimore , Rowan Atkinson, and William Frankland are just some of the proud alumni from St Bees School.
Our past students are so proud of our school that they have their own society – the St Beghian Society. Our Old St Beghians (OSBs) still play a huge role in our School and helping us plan the future of our school.
History and heritage provide the firm foundations for our school – leading the way for the innovative future ahead at St Bees School.