Old Buckenham Hall is probably the ‘most travelled’ prep school in England. But in spite of its many moves it is still the same school as the one founded by Misses Ellen and Margaret Ringer in 1862 in a terraced house (which still stands) in the Wellington Esplanade in Lowestoft in Suffolk.
The founders were two spinsters who set up what was then known as a Dame School. This flourished to such an extent that ten years later they built South Lodge, a solid, ugly, four-square, four-storey house situated a short distance away on a prominent site, literally a stone’s throw of the sea. The school flourished and gained a reputation for sound scholarship.
By the 1920s the school had outgrown South Lodge and was moved to Old Buckenham Hall by the new Headmaster, TJE Sewell. This was the beginning of a long connection with the Sewell family with TJES’ son, Donald, later becoming Headmaster and family members remaining on the governing body until well into the 21st Century.
In 1952 Old Buckenham Hall was destroyed by fire and the school moved to a new temporary home of Merton Hall. Sadly, this too burned down just a few years later and the school somehow continued by moving to Brettenham, Suffolk. We have had no fires for nearly 70 years and the school has gone from strength to strength in the intervening years!
David Griffiths became the Headmaster in 2018 and OBH is a co-ed boarding and day school that now educates approximately 220 children. We continue to send children to a wide variety of independent schools with a track record of scholarship success and excellent teaching.
If you would like to find out more about the history of OBH, please contact the school to request a copy of ‘A History of Old Buckenham Hall School’ by Donald Sewell.