The Crypt School

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
The Crypt School
File:CryptSchool Logo.PNG
Established 1539
Type Grammar school;
Headteacher Nicholas Dyer
Founders John and Joan Cooke
Location Podsmead, Gloucester
Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
DfE URN 136578 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 771
Gender Male (Mixed in Sixth Form)
Ages 11–18
Houses Brown, Whitefield, Moore and Henley
Colours Maroon, Primrose
John and Joan Cooke by an unknown artist. In the collection of Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery.
The old Crypt School, next to St. Mary de Crypt church.
Plaque at the site of the old Crypt School.

The Crypt School is a grammar school with academy status for boys with a mixed Sixth Form located in the city of Gloucester. The school was founded in 1539 by Joan Cooke with money inherited from her husband John.[1]

The original school was part of St Mary de Crypt Church in Southgate Street and the schoolroom can still be seen there. Later, in 1889, the school moved to Greyfriars, known better as Friar's Orchard, and in 1943, to its present site at Podsmead. The site on which the modern school is situated is land given to the school by Joan Cooke in 1539. Despite attempts to change the school, notably in the 1960s with the move to comprehensive schools, the Crypt remains a selective boys grammar school. Since April 2011, the school has been an academy independent of local authority control.



John Cooke (d. 1528) was a wealthy brewer and mercer of Gloucester, one of the City's earliest aldermen, serving as sheriff in 1494 and 1498. He held the office of mayor four times, in 1501, 1507, 1512 and 1518. He was a great benefactor of the City. His will started the process in motion for the establishment of a grammar school in Gloucester, and the scheme was finally given effect by his wife Joan who survived him by 17 years, dying in 1545. It was Joan therefore who created the tripartite deed of 1539, deemed to be the founding charter. The school remains today the most ancient in Gloucester.[1] A full account of the couple and their good works is contained within the book by Roland Austin published in 1939 "Crypt School". A contemporaneous portrait of the pair, John in his mayoral robe, shaking hands in union, is held within the collection of Gloucester City Council.[1]

Foundation deeds

The following documents, founding the School, are held by the Gloucestershire Records Office (Gloucester Archives):

D3270/1 Conveyance(1528): John Cooke of Gloucester, mercer and alderman, to Thomas Messynger the elder, Thomas Bell the elder, John Hawkyns, Thomas Payne, Richard Halyday, Richard Perkyns (clerico), Thomas Bell the younger, William Pyrry, Thomas Pirry and Lewis Leysant. Conveyance of lands in Ebley, Stonehouse, Oxlynche, Ranwyke, Chaxhill, Rodley, Westbury, Badgeworth and Gloucester 12 May 20 Henry VIII (1528). In trust for the purposes of his will and foundation of a grammar school at Gloucester. Robert Stynchcombe is also appointed as his attorney. Signed by John Cooke.

D3270/2 Grant(1529) 6 October 21 Henry VIII (1529) of Richard prior of Llanthony to Thomas Messenger and others of part of the burial ground of the church of St Mary Crypt for the erection of a school house thereon, rendering yearly to the rector a red rose if demanded. Seals:- (1) Llanthony Priory (2) R.S. (3) Vicar General of the diocese of Worcester

D3270/18 Conveyance(1535) Joan Cooke of Gloucester to Thomas Bell, Thomas Payne (aldermen of Gloucester), Thomas Bell the younger, John Hawkyns, brewer, Richard Halyday, Thomas Pury, Thomas Messyng, Richard Perkyns, clerk, Lewis Lysent and John Partridge of Poddesmede. Conveyance of lands (as described in conveyance dated 22 Nov. 1529) in Badgeworth etc. 8 March 26 Henry VIII 1554/5. With part seal of Corporation of Gloucester

D3270/3 Grant of Letters Patent(1538)12 May 30 Henry VIII, 1538, to the Corporation of Gloucester to hold lands in mortmain not exceeding £50 annual value for the performance of trusts of the will (dated 18 May and proved 19 October 1528) of John Cooke. With great seal (the second seal, used 1532–1541) of Henry VIII. With copy, and translation.

D3270/4 Tripartite Deed(1539/40)11 January 31 Henry VIII, 1539–40, between Dame Joan Cooke, the Mayor and Burgesses of Gloucester, and the Bailiffs and Citizens of Worcester, as to the endowments made for the benefit of the Crypt Grammar School, Gloucester, and for the proper administration of the school lands. Seal: Common Seal of the City of Worcester.

D3270/5 Copy of Grant of Annuity(1540) Lady Joan Cooke of Gloucester, widow of John Cooke, to the Bailiffs and citizens of Worcester. Copy grant of annuity of 6s 8d out of lands for overseeing the provision of her trust for the grammar school is carried out.

Academic record

The Crypt School is an Artsmark Award school.[citation needed] In 2003, the school was granted Specialist Status in Science.[citation needed]

In 2009, The Crypt School was further designated as a Specialist Language College, this status has become active as of the 2009/2010 academic year.[citation needed]

At the end of every academic year, usually on the second Thursday of July, pupils, staff and former Cryptians gather at Gloucester Cathedral for Founders Day, a day when the school remembers its past and how the school was founded. The Headmaster of the school, the School Captain and the president of the Old Cryptian's Club pay the Rector of St Mary De Crypt Church a quit rent of one red rose.[citation needed]

There are four school houses; Brown, Whitefield, Moore and Henley, named after notable former Headmasters or pupils.

School song - Carmen Cryptiense

Words by D. Gwynne Williams, M.A. (Oxon), Head Master.
Music by C. Lee Williams, Mus, B. (Oxon).
April 1926


PIO cantu celebremus
Scholam, pie memoremus
Conditores, quis debemus
Tot Musarum munera.
Laus Ioanni tribuenda,
Laus Ioannae concinenda.
Vivat schola Cryptiensis,
Vivat in perpetuum!

Stat per annos domus crescens
Fortiorque fit senescens,
Laeta prole revirescens
Dum labuntur saecula.
Viget prisca fide plena,
Viget nova spe serena.
Vivat schola Cryptiensis,
Vivat in perpetuum !

Hine quot vivi exiere
Que praeclaras res gessere,
Deo dediti sincere,
Principes aequalium ;
Hine quot animae obscurae,
Quis honesta erant curae.
Vivat schola Cryptiensis,
Vivat in perpetuum !

Alma mater, semper flore
Et doctrina et labore,
Gaude mutuo amore
Hic se delectantium.
Lusus nostros laeta cerne,
Duc ad astra nos superne.
Vivas, schola Cryptiensis,
Vivas in perpetuum !

English (translation)

IN dutiful song let us sing the praises of our school, and dutifully let us make mention of our founders, to whom we owe so many gifts of the Muses.
Let us bestow praise upon John, let us celebrate in song the praise of Joan.
May the Crypt School live on, may it live on for ever !

Our house stands and grows throughout the years, and it becomes stronger as it grows older, blossoming afresh with cheerful offspring while the ages glide on.
It is strong in abundance of ancient faith, it is strong in the brightness of youthful hope.
May the Crypt School live on, may it live on for ever !

How many men have gone forth from here who have wrought famous deeds, men truly devoted to God and leaders among their contemporaries !
How many souls unknown to fame have gone forth, whose hearts were set on honourable things !
May the Crypt School live on, may it live on for ever !

Alma mater, ever prosper in learning and work and rejoice in the mutual love of those who take their pleasure here.
Joyfully behold our play and lead us upward to the stars.
Live on, Crypt School, live on for ever !


The two bars for "Vivat schola Cryptiensis" are quoted from one of the old Chime tunes of Gloucester Cathedral composed by John Malchair, of Oxford, 1750.

The song is written in Eb major, but on the original score there is a footnote stating that it can be played in D major.

Notable former pupils

Alumni of the school are known as Old Cryptians.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 John and Joan Cooke. Living Gloucester, 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  2. The Old Cryptians' Club – Home

External links