About Twyford

History

Twyford School is proud to be one of the oldest prep schools in the country and we can trace our roots back to the late 18th century. We have occupied our current site for over two hundred years. This is our story;

Timeline

1787 – 1790Headmaster: Rev’d Liscombe Stretch
Started a school in Twyford Vicarage (now Mildmay House)
1809Headmaster: Rev’d Liscombe Clarke
Moved to present site. The Common Room and dormitory above built.
1815   Headmaster: Rev’d James Bedford
Land purchased, School enlarged: The Boarders’ Drawing Room, Upper School and the Brewhouse (now the School kitchens) were built.
‘Bedford’s Slate’ can still be seen in Upper School where misdemeanours were recorded!
1833Headmaster: Rev’d Robert Wickham
First in a series of Wickham Headmasters overseeing the School.
1847Headmaster: Rev’d J.C Roberts
1855Headmaster: Rev’d George Kitchin
An enlightened man, Kitchin introduced a remarkably modern curriculum including music, drawing, history, geography and French. The Old Dining Room was built on top of the Brewhouse. Kitchin was friends with Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and shared an interest in early Victorian photography. Photos taken by Dodgson of the School and boys exist in the archives.
1862Headmaster: Rev’d Latham Wickham (son of Robert)
Creation of a proper cricket ground; further School buildings built including the School Chapel in 1869.
1887Headmaster: Rev’d Charles Wickham (son of Latham)
Introduced regular sports matches against other prep schools.
Three new classrooms built, Upper School fitted out as a Gymnasium, Chapel was extended and the first edition of the Twyfordian published.
‘Searle’s Hill’ (now the Pre-Prep School) was built as the School Sanitorium in 1896. Diptheria outbreak in 1896-1897 caused the School to move first to Westfields in Winchester and then to a site in Copthorne, West Sussex whilst the old school buildings were rebuilt.
1910Headmaster: Harold McDonell
McDonell, an Old Twyfordian himself, also played cricket for Hampshire.
Levelled the ground to make a new football pitch (Sports Day pitch) and installed a covered Swimming pool (on the site of today’s pool but smaller) In 1923 the Memorial library was opened, still in use today. McDonell disliked anything modern or scientific, refused to install gas lighting and would only have electricity in certain parts of the School! His austerity caused a decline in numbers to 37 pupils.
1937Headmaster: Rev’d Robert (Bob) Wickham
Wickham inherited the school in 1928 on the death of his uncle Charles.
Twyford was the southernmost prep school NOT to be evacuated during the Second World War. Bob Wickham was an inspirational leader. He introduced Science into the prep school curriculum, built the Hobbies room which became a very popular part of the School and was later converted into the School’s first science laboratory.
In 1955 Wickham created a charitable trust which secured the School’s future.
1963 Bob Wickham retired and was appointed Chair of the IAPS council.
1963 Headmaster: David Wickham (Bob’s son)
In 1968 an appeal saw the building of a new science block with music practice rooms. Two hard tennis courts were installed. Day boys were first admitted in 1977. In 1981 the new Dining Room was built (called the Wickham Hall in acknowledgement of the Wickham’s long association with Twyford)
1983Headmaster: Richard Gould
1985 Searles Hill became the Pre-Prep department and girls were admitted into Twyford. A busy building programme took place including in1988 the west courtyard of 10 classrooms (after the sale of Mallard’s Close), in 1989 the new Sports Hall and Swimming Pool (opened by Old Twyfordian Douglas Hurd), in 1992 the Music School, in 1994 the Pre-Prep Hall and finally in 1996 the Computer, Art and DT block.
1996Headmaster: Philip Fawkes
The building programme continued with the Science Block opening in 1999.
2003Headmaster: Dr David Livingstone
2007 the all-weather pitch was opened by Old Twyfordian and Olympic Hockey player Rob Moore. In 2008 Saxon Court classrooms opened (named after the discovery of Saxon graves on site) by Old Twyfordian Professor Freeman Dyson. A lease was taken on Home Close Field to provide six further acres of sports fields. 2005 saw the end of ‘full boarding’ although flexi and weekly boarding thrive.
2010Headmaster: Dr Steve Bailey
The Mulberry Pavilion was built following an appeal and in 2012 Forest Lodge in Pre-Prep was completed. In 2015 thanks to the generosity of a retiring Governor the Jimmy Adams Pavilion was opened.