Fifth Centenary Celebrations

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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!

Fifth Century Lectures

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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:

Saturday 23rd June: Quincentenary Extravaganza, Scott Field 10-4pm

– sponsored by NFU Mutual (Ashford & Tenterden) and Produced in Kent.

  • Dog Show – sponsored by Savills ( registration from 10a.m & first round 12.30p.m), also dog agility course 10-4pm
  • Wimbledon comes to Cranbrook – Tennis Matches & Coaching
  • Produced in Kent Food, Drink & Craft stalls
  • Playlets performed on The Scott Field at 11.00am and outside the Vestry Hall at 2.00pm- three playlets written by Peter Allen, former Cranbrook School Deputy Head –   The legacy of John Blubery, The Charter of Elizabeth I &  The building of School House.  MC: Cranbrook Operatic & Dramatic Society.  Players: Cranbrook School students under the direction of Jade Deeble.  Music: Cranbrook School Music Trust
  • BBQ
  • Flower Festival – St. Dunstan’s Church
  • Joint Cranbrook School and Cranbrook Choral Society Concert, 7.30pm in the Queen’s Hall – Tickets available from Baldwin’s Travel or Queen’s Hall Box Office


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 will attend a special service in St. Dunstan’s Church, to be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent.  We are delighted that Bishop Trevor Wilmott of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral will preside.

Wednesday 9th May

The Fifth Centenary Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Biennial Inspection.  To preside:  Lt. Col. David Pack (OC) of the Gurkha Rifles.

Saturday 26th May

Annual Prizegiving Ceremony in St. Dunstan’s Church.

Saturday 10th November

Float at Lord Mayor’s Show, City of London

Tuesday 18th December

Sixth Form Celebration Evening

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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