St Edmund's School, on St Thomas's Hill, Canterbury. Architect: P. C. Hardwick (1822-1892). 1854-55. Looking at the school on its commanding height, John Newman feels that the group designed by Hardwick "can be justly called the finest Victorian school in the county. It sums up very well the Victorian idea of education, loftily forbidding yet at the same time rich and self-confident" (248). The school actually goes back much earlier than this, to its first charitable foundation, as what became known as "The Clergy Orphan School" in Thirsk in Yorkshire. It moved to St John's Wood in London in 1812, and then in 1855 to where it is now, in Canterbury. It was built with "a generous donation by Doctor Samuel Warneford" ("About Us"). The was renamed St Edmund’s School only in 1897. Newman notes: "The style is Dec, the material ragstone, the plan a half-H open towards the view. The hall in the centre rises higher than the rest with a roof of French steepness, prodigious cresting on the ridge, and a rose window under a gable" (248). The polygonal apse on the west wing belongs to the much-admired chapel, an important element in school life: in 1972, St Edmund’s took responsibility for educating the choristers for Canterbury Cathedral.

Photograph by Nick Smith, originally posted here on the Geograph website, and available for reuse on the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license. Many thanks. Text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee.


"About Us: History." St Edmund's School. Web. 29 October 2021.

Newman, John. North East and East Kent. Buildings of England series. 3rd ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983 (reprinted 2001).

Created 29 October 2021