Churcher's College

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Churcher's College
Churcher's College

, ,
GU31 4AS

Coordinates 51°00′32″N0°55′41″W / 51.009°N 0.928°W / 51.009; -0.928 Coordinates: 51°00′32″N0°55′41″W / 51.009°N 0.928°W / 51.009; -0.928
Type Public School
Independent day school
MottoCredita Caelo (meaning trust in heaven)
Established1722;299 years ago (1722)
Founder Richard Churcher
Local authority Hampshire
Department for Education URN 116579 Tables
Chairman of the GovernorsMichael Gallagher
HeadmasterSimon H. L. Williams
Gender Co-educational
Age2.5to 18
Houses  Collingwood
Former pupilsyoung Churcherians

Churcher's College is an independent, fee-paying day school for girls and boys, founded in 1722. [1] The Senior School (ages 11–18) is in the market town of Petersfield, Hampshire with the Junior School and Nursery (ages 2 years, 9 months–11) in nearby Liphook. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).


The College was founded in Petersfield in the 1720s by the will of Richard Churcher to educate local boys in the skills needed for service in the merchant navy.

The headmaster is Simon Williams who replaced Geoffrey Buttle in September 2004. Alumni are known as Old Churcherians or OCs. Male OCs are eligible to become members of the East India Club, whilst women may join the University Women's Club.


The school was founded under the will of Richard Churcher in 1722. Churcher was a wealthy local philanthropist who had made his fortune through interests in the British East India Company. His will, dated 1722, decreed that the College was to educate:

10 or 12 local boys from Petersfield, of any age from 9 to 14, in the arts of writing, arithmetic, mathematics and navigation so they could be apprenticed to masters of ships sailing in the East Indies.

Under the terms of the will, Churcher's College was created as a non-denominational foundation, a status it has kept to this day. The original school, built in 1729, is in College Street. The school became increasingly popular due to its successes, and in 1881 moved to its present location in Ramshill, accommodating 150 boys. [2]

Original College building, College Street Churcher's College (original school), College St, Petersfield 2007 (Tony Holkham).jpg
Original College building, College Street

From 1946 to 1964 Broadlands, opposite the college grounds in Ramshill, was the preparatory school for Churcher's. [3] It was Grade II listed in 1949. [4]

For much of the 20th century Churcher's College operated as a voluntary aided grammar school. In 1979, Hampshire County Council decided to cease to maintain the college, which became an independent fee-paying school. [5] The school's expanding population (by the mid-20th century the school educated some 400 boys, of whom about a quarter boarded in three separate houses: Mount House, Ramshill House and School house)[ citation needed ] has necessitated the addition of a number of modern buildings alongside the original 1881 buildings.

Girls were first admitted to the Sixth Form in 1980, and the school became fully co-educational in 1988. Reflecting its naval history, the college's houses are named after the naval heroes Drake, Grenville, Nelson and Rodney, with the later addition of Collingwood.

In 1993 the school purchased Moreton House School [6] [7] in Petersfield, which became Churcher's College Junior School. Like the senior school before it, the junior school is very successful, and soon outgrew its premises. Following an unsuccessful attempt to relocate in Petersfield, the school eventually purchased an existing school campus in Liphook (Littlefield's School), which from 2003 became the junior school's new site.

Sport and outdoor pursuits

Front elevation of Churcher's College, 2007 Churcher's College, Petersfield - - 357176.jpg
Front elevation of Churcher's College, 2007

The boys compete in rugby union, field hockey and cricket, whilst the girls play netball, field hockey and rounders.[ citation needed ] The College was the first school to affiliate to the Hampshire RFU in 1924. OC Frank Guy was responsible for the founding of local rugby union club Petersfield R.F.C. in 1927. In 2015, Churcher's won the NatWest Schools Cup under-18 Vase with 13-5 victory over SEEVIC College, the first Hampshire school to do so. [8]

The school has equestrianism, golf, tennis, squash, swimming and athletics teams and events and competes in contests such as the Ten Tors, which they won in both 2014 and 2015, [9] the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon, and the Charlton Chase and Butser Hill Challenge events.

There are Combined Cadet Force and Duke of Edinburgh Award programmes, as well as regular World Challenge and First Challenge expeditions.

Notable alumni

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  2. "Churcher's College: History". Archived from the original on 16 December 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  3. "Hampshire Gardens Trust: Broadland House" . Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  4. "British Listed Buildings" . Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  5. House of Commons: Schools reorganisation (col. 486W). Hansard. 2 July 1979. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  6. Stuff, Good. "Moreton House School, Petersfield, Hampshire". Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  7. "MORETON HOUSE SCHOOL, Petersfield - 1093562 | Historic England". Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  8. "NatWest Schools Cup 2015: Churcher's College win under-18 Vase with 13-5 victory over SEEVIC". Daily Telegraph. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  9. "Teams cross Dartmoor's Ten Tors challenge finish line". BBC. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
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Further reading