SUB HOC SIGNO VINCES
â€œHow that place seemed in a manner to be made on purpose for scholars, both to learn themselves, and to teach others: and that its situation was such that above all others it is best suited for honest and ingenious pleasures.â€? Dr Walter Haddon, 1534
The 1415 Society, named in recognition of the 600 years that the site of the school has been a respected centre of learning, aims to nurture and grow a development fund for Stoke College. Run by a small group of Governors and Fellows, the Society will deliver a number of exclusive events and fundraising campaigns to support the on-going development of the school facilities including the fabric of the ancient building.
600 years of History - 600 years of Education
These buildings have played their part in politics, in history, in religion, in education, in art ... it is critical that we safeguard them for the future to provide an environment that continues to inspire and nurture those that will become history makers.
Living in the heart of history Stoke College is located in a substantial country house, near to the Stoke-by-Clare Parish church. Set in 25 acres of parkland, the site boasts many historically significant features and a remarkable history. Way back in 1124 a Benedictine Priory was established on the site which under the patronage of the Clare family, became one of the most wealthy monastic houses in England. Parts of the actually lie school and across them
original Priory beneath the children walk daily. In 1415
the site changed from a Priory into a College for secular priests. The medieval doorways and mullioned windows that priests and scholars walked and peeped through are treasured and tangible links to the past. A dovecote was erected as a symbol of wealth and status. This is a marvellous feature with decorative medieval brickwork, other examples of which can be seen throughout the buildings look out for brickwork with a portcullis and suspension chains - this artistry is more than 600 years old.
The buildings were abandoned following Dissolution of the monasteries in the 1540â€™s until the site was bought by the Elwes family around 1660, who created the surviving main house and stables. However, the Elwes did not always keep the premises in fine style and one member of the family was so mean that he served as Dickensâ€™ model for Scrooge in The Christmas Carol!
History walks the corridors of the building and many famous characters have played their part here at Stoke College ... Matthew Parker, who became chaplain to Henry V111 and then Archbishop of Canterbury lived in the house in the 16th century for more than 12 years and it was said to be his favourite residence. He was the leader of the Cambridge Reform movement and helped to create what we now know as the Anglican religion. Most people know him best as Nosey Parker! The Prince Regent is said to have been a guest at the house in 1816, and the cornices of what is now the Headmasterâ€™s study are decorated with the Elwes crest in commemoration. The cornice decoration features the emblematic lion and unicorn, giving rise to the names of our school houses and to the depiction of these creatures in our own crest. In 1897 the estate was bought by Lord Loch, a Victorian colonial administrator, who employed his wifeâ€™s nephew, the noted architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, to carry out some important restoration work.
Lutyens, who was a key player in the Arts and Crafts movement and famed for his imaginative architecture, worked on the property in the 19th century. He installed a new staircase which was taken from a house in London built by Sir Christopher Wren. He also installed intricate wood panelling, roofing and an ornate mantelpiece in what was the billiard room (now the LDU). Gertrude Jekyll, a renowned garden designer who is still recognised as a major influence on horticultural planning, worked on our gardens. Her professional partnership with Lutyens lasted for years and their combined skills are visible both inside and outside of the school.
Who will be making history here in another 600 years?
From the Chair of the Board of Governors “Having moved two sons into the care of Stoke College, I have been impressed and highly delighted at the development of my boys, academically and personally. Each has grown in confidence and has achieved fantastic results. Having come from a very large Public School the real difference that Stoke College has to offer has continued to amaze me – I am delighted to be able to offer “a bit” back to help future pupils also reap the benefits of this unique and special School.
Jonathan Burchell Chairman Board of Governors
I am very pleased to launch the 1415 Society, which recognises and seeks to ensure the sustainability of the site for future generations. I like to imagine my sons’ children being educated here, surrounded by the history and heritage that makes this such a significant and special place.”
Membership of the 1415 Society The 1415 Society is open to all those who have donated, or have left a legacy to Stoke College, or have the intention of doing so. The Society will enable members to be involved and have influence in a meaningful way on the future development of the building and grounds.
At present the Society is new and relatively small. The focus of the Society is to nurture and grow a development fund for Stoke College through donations or legacies over the coming years, to underpin and improve the buildings and facilities so that it will remain a seat of learning within its beautiful setting for the next 600 plus years. The Society will provide a focal point and will be responsible for both recognising the generosity of the members and thanking them or their family. Society members will be invited to attend School events and the 1415 Society’s annual summer gathering. Members will enjoy the geniality of being with fellow like-minded enthusiasts and be able to see for themselves the progressive development enabled through the Society’s work. Members will have a subscription to The 1415 Society and receive regular information about the School and 1415 Society events.
We ask you to celebrate the launch of the 1415 Society and invite you to play a part in the future work of the organisation. The Society will provide fantastic social opportunities for all to enjoy and will make a real and lasting impact on the life of the school and the future of the beautiful and historic location.
This is an opportunity for altruism, to make a difference and to have some fun. If you would like to join or require further details, please contact: Jane Clark - firstname.lastname@example.org Jonathan Burchell - email@example.com Richard Budd - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stoke by Clare, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 8JE Tel: +44 (0)1787 278 141