Hampton School dates its foundation to 1557 when, thanks to a bequest by prominent local businessman, Robert Hammond, provision was made for the education of boys in St Mary’s church, Hampton upon Thames, under the tutorage of the residing Vicar. The line in Robert Hammond’s will reads:
the … vicar churchwardens and porocheners shall cause a free scoole to be kepte … for euer more to thentent that the children there shalbe brought vpp shall praye for my soull and all Christen soulles.
The School has undergone many transformations since then and, although remaining in the Hampton area, has occupied several different sites. It moved to its current location in the Hanworth Road in 1939. Although it became a State Grammar School in 1910, it reverted to Independent status in 1975.
Today Hampton School is recognised as one of the leading academic boys’ schools in the UK. It has over 1,200 pupils, almost all of whom progress to top universities either in this country or abroad before pursuing a wide range of careers.
The School Archives are the guardian of its collective memory, aiming to preserve and develop to the best possible professional standards, a collection of material relating to the history of Hampton School both as a separate institution and in relation to Education generally, and to the School’s position within the local community.
The current School is a result of building outwards from the original late-1930s building, which can be seen clearly in the Atrium corridor where, instead of solid walls, white frame windows provide a glimpse into classrooms. It can be said then, that the School itself is an archive, holding all its rich past within its walls and it is the School Archives task to preserve and maintain records and objects pertaining to this history for the benefit of current boys, alumni, local historians and a host of other interest groups.
The collection of books, admissions registers, governor’s minutes, paintings, letters, drama and music programmes, photographs, uniform, artefacts, audio-visual material and copies of The Lion (the first dating back 1908) and many more held by the school, when grouped, form a complete picture of the School throughout its history.
ACCESSING THE ARCHIVES
Approaches to the Archives should in the first instance always be made in writing to Miss Alexandra Esmond, either by e-mail: A.Esmond@hamptonschool.org.uk or letter, addressed to her at the School. The Archives Policy (covering Access and Accessions) is linked below.
Here you will find a selection of longer articles supported by records and objects taken from the Archive. The Hampton School Archive also regularly posts on the @Hampton_Alumni twitter account and contribute to Alumni newsletters.