Fifth Centenary Celebrations

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

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.

Our up and coming lectures are:

  • Wednesday 25 April – Assistant Chief Constable Tony Blaker, OC and Kent Police’s Head of Central Operations. Talks to students in the school day and an evening talk to parents at 7.30pm in the QH, What did school ever do for me?  To register for tickets please visit
  • Wednesday 2nd May –  Mike Trueman, OC, talks to students about Everest and the 1996 Storm.  This is a re-arranged date from the previously postponed event.  If you previously registered you will have received an email to ask that you confirm your attendance for this re-arranged date and for you to print off your revised ticket.  Should you be unable to attend do let us know so that we may re-allocate your ticket.  To reserve new tickets please visit

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

Festival Week

In the last week of June, Scott Field – where a marquee will be erected – will become our focus with major events complimenting 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 – sponsored by NFU Mutual (Ashford & Tenterden) and Produced in Kent
  • Wimbledon comes to Cranbrook – tennis festival
  • Mini-pageant outside the Vestry Hall – 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
  • Flower Festival – St. Dunstan’s Church
  • Joint Cranbrook School and Cranbrook Choral Society Concert, 7.30pm in the Queen’s Hall – details to be confirmed

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, 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

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.  Guest Speaker to be confirmed.


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