"The Old Grammar School" Old Grammar School Tip by leics

  Old Grammar School 2016
by leics
  • The Old Grammar School
      Old Grammar School 2016
    by leics
  • The Old Grammar School
      Plasterwork pargetting
    by leics
  • The Old Grammar School
  • The Old Grammar School
      Old Grammar School 2008
    by leics

The 'Old Grammar School' building is a bit of an icon in Market Harborough.

It originally dates from 1614 and was funded by one Robert Smyth who had somehow worked his way up from being a poor Market Harborough boy to high office in the court of the Lord Mayor or London. The school taught Latin, Greek and Hebrew and several of its pupils (all boys, of course) went on to Oxford and Cambridge universities, including two future Bishops and a future Nobel prizewinner.

On three of its sides the school is built on wooden 'stilts'. Mr Smyth directed it to be built like that to provide shelter for the butter market traders could take shelter 'in time of foul weather'. That was nice of him.

The brick upper level was added in the mid-1800s.

There is some pretty 'pargetting' on the white plasterwork and a series of Biblical quotes runs around the building, painted in gold letter onto the supporting beams.

When I first wrote this tip, in 2008, I noted that was the Victorian fashion to paint timber-framed buildings black and white. The correct, original colours should be brown and cream and I'm very pleased to report that the building has undergone substantial renovation and restoration....and yes, it is now brown and cream. :-)

Address: Church Street, Market Harborough
Directions: Church Square, next to St Dionysius church

Review Helpfulness: 2 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 1, 2016
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