Churchgate School Stones
Loughborough Grammar School has not always been located on our current campus. It actually has a history of moving around Loughborough and has changed location four times! Between 1825 and 1852 it was already on its third location at Churchgate, opposite what is now the White Hart Pub. At the time, it was one of four schools within this building.
After the ‘Grammar School Act’ of 1840, two of the Schools, Reading and Hickling merged to create the Lancasterian School for Boys and Girls. The other school, called the ‘Writing School’ was renamed ‘High School’, which was also a school for boys. The ‘High School’ merged with the ‘Grammar School’ and they moved to a new site in 1852. This new site is the current site of the Foundation.
The first stone was on the building since 1825, when the Churchgate School opened. This inscription read:
"Schools founded and endowed by Thomas Burton Merchant A.D.1495, and remodeled under a scheme of the High Court of Chancery A.D.1850. This building, erected by order of the feoffees out of the Funds of the Charity William Middleton Esq. Bridge Master A.D.1825, was enlarged by voluntary contributions aided by a grant from the privy council A.D.1858."
To signify the merger and change of board, a second stone was created:
"The Freehold of these buildings and the playgrounds and adjacent residences was presented, and the Schools transferred by the governors of Thomas Burton’s charity to the Loughborough School Board on the 1st of October 1892 William Moss Mayor Hussey Packe Chairman of Governors Benjamin Baldwin Chairman of School Board"
These stones show and reflect a significant part of LGS and LHS history. They stayed with the Churchgate school building until it was demolished to make way for Lemyngton Street in 1931. The Lancasterian Schools, which remained at Churchgate until the building was demolished, became Limehurst Schools and inevitably, the stones moved with them to their new location.
Fast forward 88 years to December 2019, and the stones were found by John Weitzel (LGS archivist) in a miserable state in the Limehurst Academy car park. After this discovery, John spoke to Limehurst Academy, who were happy to give them back as property of LGS.
Since they have been found, efforts have been made to restore them. They have been cleaned and cared for, the best that they can be, by John Marsden, our LGS workshop technician. The hope is to have these stones on full display in the School for all to see.
You can find out more about the history of LGS and Loughborough Schools Foundation here