Marlborough schools: Marking the end of several eras when St Peter's School closes its doors in July

Written by Sue Round on .

Not a view you usually see - from the playground behind St Peter's School building

Two hundred and sixteen years of education in The Parade will come to an end when Marlborough's iconic school building - presently home to Marlborough St Mary's junior section - closes its doors for the last time on July 19.

 A Reunion and Celebration for past pupils, staff and friends of St Peter's School and of Marlborough Grammar School, which had previously occupied the building, will be held to mark the occasion in the school building on the Parade on Saturday 1 July between 1.00pm and 4.00pm.

 Anne Schwodler, headteacher of Marlborough St. Mary’s: “It will be an opportunity to meet and reminisce for those who attended St Peter's Junior School...and for those who were pupils when it was the Grammar School. To make it a really worthwhile occasion, we hope to attract as many old-pupils and staff as we can, so please spread the word and let others know who may be interested.”

The school in about 1905The school in about 1905A detail from the archive photographA detail from the archive photographThe school building in The Parade opened as Marlborough Grammar School on Oct 6 1905. It was built on the site of a previous school which had opened in 1791. However, the first Marlborough Grammar School dates back to 1550 when it was housed in the old hospital of St John in the March.

In 1905 the grammar school was co-ed and offered places for 80 pupils. By 1938 this number had grown to 300.

St. Peter’s had opened 1849 in what is now Marlborough's library, with 100 boys, 70-80 girls, and 60-70 infants in three classrooms. In 1962 the grammar school moved up the hill to what was the St. John’s Stedman building, and St Peter’s Junior school moved from the library to the building in the Parade.

St. Peter’s Junior school and St. Mary’s Primary School amalgamated last September under the new name of Marlborough St. Mary’s. However, the old St. Peter’s building has continued to be used for 184 Years 3-6 pupils, while the new school building is being completed.

It is not yet known what the future of The Parade building will be.  Its ownership has been inherited by Wiltshire Council.

At the Reunion/Celebration on July 1 visitors can wander through the school and reminisce or take a guided tours led the School House Captains. No charge will be made for entry, but there will be the opportunity to buy professionally taken photographs to remember the building as it was and a collection to raise funds for equipment for the new primary school. Tea, coffee and cakes will be available.

There will also be an exhibition of photographs from the different eras of the school. The school asks that anyone who has photos or other material they would be willing to lend to support the exhibition to contact the school admin office or just bring them along on the day.

For more information, contact Sue Kent in the junior school office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 01672 513158.

What will become of this iconic Marlborough building?What will become of this iconic Marlborough building?