Harrow School, UK has been home to world leaders, poets and royalty. It has educated such inspirational characters as Sir Winston Churchill, King Hussein of Jordan, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lord Byron, and more recently actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Laurence Fox and singer-songwriter James Blunt.
Harrow School, UK, is steeped in rich history and heritage. The School was founded in February 1572 under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I to John Lyon, a wealthy local farmer.
Lyon died in 1592, leaving his assets to two causes: the lesser was the School, and by far the greater beneficiary was the maintenance of a road to London, 10 miles (16 km) away. The School owned and maintained this road for many years following Lyon’s death, and the whole School still runs along this 10-mile road in an event called the ‘Long Ducker’ every November, whilst some Sixth Formers opt to do 20 miles – to and from the Albert Memorial in London.
It was only after the death of Lyon’s wife in 1608 that the construction of the first School building began. It was completed in 1615 and remains to this day. However, it is now much larger. At first, the primary subject taught was Latin and the only sport was archery. Both subjects were compulsory; archery was dropped in 1771.
Although most boys were taught for free, their tuition paid for by Lyon’s endowment, there were a number of fee-paying ‘foreigners’ (boys from outside the parish). It was their presence that amplified the need for boarding facilities. By 1701, for every local there were two ‘foreign’ pupils; these generated funds for the School as fees increased. The majority of the School’s boarding houses were constructed in Victorian times, when the number of boys increased dramatically. Between 1872 and 1877, a Speech Room was constructed to the designs of William Burges, a renowned architect who specialised in cathedrals and castles. The structure is a Grade II* listed building.
The School war memorial, designed by Sir Robert Lorimer (a prolific Scottish architect renowned for his designs of historic houses and castles) was erected in 1917, marking the already substantial loss of former pupils by that stage of the First World War.
The 20th century saw the innovation of a central dining hall, the demolition of small houses and further modernisation of the curriculum. Currently there are about 850 boys boarding at Harrow.
Harrow Bangkok was the first Harrow School in Asia to be founded in 1998, followed by Harrow Beijing in 2005, Harrow Hong Kong in 2012 and Harrow Shanghai in 2016.
The Harrow family of Schools share academic excellence and a broad-based learning experience within a traditional framework, whilst nurturing teacher-pupil relationships and intercultural relations.