Fifth Centenary Celebrations

© Blush Photography

Cranbrook School is celebrating 500 years as a thriving grammar school in the heart of the Weald of Kent.  This year we are marking the original founding of the school by local yeoman, John Blubery, who bequeathed his ‘chief mansion’ to provide a ‘frescole house’ for the town’s children.  Five hundred years later the school is thriving in its original site providing an outstanding education to 750 boys and girls, day students from our catchment area and boarders from outside and abroad.  Few countries, less institutions and even fewer schools have had the chance to celebrate 500 years of history so the precedent is ours to set.

We aim to make the Quincentenary a constant theme throughout the year.  This page sets out how we are going to recognise this achievement with an exciting programme of anniversary lectures, formal ceremony and a series of festival events.  These celebrations will be open to students and staff, parents, OC’s and the whole Cranbrook community – we look forward to you joining us!

HRH Royal Visit

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the School on Tuesday 12th June to formally open the new Sixth Form Centre. Please click here for the full story and photos.

Following on from the visit, Cranbrook School received this letter from Buckingham Palace (click to enlarge image):




Fifth Century Lectures

© Blush Photography

For centuries Cranbrook School has produced leaders and luminaries in our country’s Business, Science, Culture and Public Service communities.  Each month this year we are celebrating our Quincentenial by inviting Old Cranbrookians to talk to students, parents and the wider community about how they are shaping our world and how their experiences at Cranbrook prepared them for success.

These are under way and on Monday 8th January we had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Rob Joyce, OC and Associate Director at the IFS, to Cranbrook School to enlighten us on the topic of “Is our Tax System fair?”.  You can read the full write-up of his visit by clicking here to be directed to our news items.

Past lectures:

  • Wednesday 25 April – Assistant Chief Constable Tony Blaker, OC and Kent Police’s Head of Central Operations gave a talk in the Lecture Theatre. Please click here for the full event write-up.
  • Wednesday 2nd May –  Mike Trueman, OC, gave a talk about Everest and the 1996 Storm. Please click here for the full event write-up.

Our upcoming lectures are:

  • Wednesday 26th September – Sarah Keith-Lucas, OC, BBC Weather Forecaster.
  • Tuesday 6th November – David O’ Brien, talk to school and community on Remembrance/100th Anniversary of WW1/ Cranbrook’s fallen.

NB:  Anniversary lectures for the Autumn Term 2018 are currently being organised.  Details to follow.

Festival Week

In the last week of June, a marquee will be erected to host major events complementing a unique timetable for all students across the rest of the campus.  This will consist of a host of fun and exciting events – all infused with a Quincentennial flavour:

Quincentenary Extravaganza – On Saturday 23rd June, the School hosted an Extravaganza on Scott field for students, parents and the local community.

There were food, drink and craft stalls from local companies, providing everything from fresh pastries, ice cream, cider and fruit juice to glass art and bags. The students ran a BBQ and the drama department performed two playlets on the history of Cranbrook School from its founding years back in 1518. ‘Wimbledon Comes to Cranbrook’ was a great success; Hotshotz coached children and adults alike on the tennis courts, and tennis balls were flying all throughout the day. At the end of the field, Cranbrook’s first dog show saw plenty of waggy tails parading in front of the judges, as well as an agility course that saw the owners being more competitive than the dogs!

Huge thanks to Savills, MFU Mutual Ashford and Tenterden, and Produced in Kent for their support in organising and running the event, the students for their continuous professional demeanours and enthusiasm, Hotshotz for giving free tennis couching sessions, and to the School’s Site Team and Estates Team for their help in setting up the site.

It was a very sunny, enjoyable day.

Monday 25th to Friday 29th June

School Festival Week begins, to include over the week:

  • Year 7:  outdoor pursuits week
  • Year 9:  Curious Minds project – Living Tudor History
  • Year 10:  Young Enterprise
  • Years 9, 10 & 12:  House Athletics & House Swimming Gala

Monday 25th June

Cranbrook Through the Ages by Peter Allen – An illustrated lecture in the Marquee at 7pm ( Free Entry), with a display of objects to include:

  • Display boards showing key documents related to the school’s history
  • The Queen Elizabeth I charter
  • A selection of diaries and magazines from previous years
  • A display of uniforms from across the years

Wednesday 27th June

Old Cranbrookians’ Association Afternoon Tea   Venue:  The Marquee 2-5pm

Friday 29th June

Old Cranbrookians’ Association Reunion Dinner Dance.  Venue:  The Marquee  Dress Code:  Black Tie

Saturday 30th June

Cranbrook School Parents Association Summer Ball.  Venue:  The Marquee

Stand Out Events

Outside of the regular monthly lectures and the Festival Week we have confirmed stand out events to crown our anniversary year.


Thursday 22nd March – Founder’s Day Service – The whole school attended a special service in St. Dunstan’s Church, to be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent.  Bishop Trevor Wilmott of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral will also presided. Please click here to view the story and photos.

Wednesday 9th May – The Fifth Centenary Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Biennial Inspection took place with Lt. Col. David Pack (OC) of the Gurkha Rifles presiding. Please click here for the full story and pictures.

Saturday 26th May – The School’s Annual Prizegiving Day took place at St. Dunstan’s Church, with special guest speaker Vice Lord Leftenant Richard Oldfield.



Saturday 10th November

Float at Lord Mayor’s Show, City of London

Tuesday 18th December

Sixth Form Celebration Evening

© Blush Photography


If you would like to find out more about our long and illustrious history, you may order a copy of ‘Cranbrook School – The First Five Centuries’ by former Deputy Headmaster, Peter Allen.  To order your copy please complete the form below.

Cranbrook School - The First Five Centuries

  • For alumni and current students
    Please use the following details for BACS payments: Nat West, Cranbrook School Trust, Acc: 59002913, Sort Code: 60-06-18