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History of Prep

The first steps towards creating a separate department for the younger boys at Cheltenham College were taken in 1863 when Principal Rev. Alfred Barry appointed Rev. Thomas Middlemore-Whithard as the first Headmaster of the Junior Department. Just two years later the boys were provided with a newly designated building (now referred to as Old Junior) which consisted of one large room, with three smaller rooms at the south end. In addition to the new teaching space, Rev. Barry commissioned the construction of a boarding house, Teighmore, which was ready for occupation in 1866. A statue of Barry can still be seen outside the entrance to Old Junior to commemorate his commitment to Junior boys at College.

Over time the Junior Department was expanded; the Lake House estate (coming with approximately 14 acres of land) was purchased by College Council in 1906 to build a separate Junior School. It was officially opened in 1909, with a commemorate stone laid on Friday 26 June 1908, and would have provided much improved facilities for the boys.

From 1993 onwards, girls were welcomed into Junior for the first time, and a pre-prep department (named Kingfishers) was established for children aged 3-7 years old. The Junior School’s centenary celebrations took place in 2008, and in 2013 it was officially renamed as Cheltenham College Preparatory School or Cheltenham Prep.

For more information on the history of the Prep School please contact the Archive department: archives@cheltenhamcollege.org