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Gibbs' House


Gibbs’ House opened in 1913 and was named for Henry Martin Gibbs (1850-1928), who attended the College and in later life became a great friend of Nathaniel Woodard and generous benefactor to the school, funding the building of Great School and the Masters’ Common Room, and paying for the completion of the Upper Quadrangle as well as donating substantially to the Chapel, in particular the furnishing of the Crypt Chapel.

The family seat was Tyntesfield in Somerset (now a National Trust property). Gibbs’ House, whilst not as architecturally grand as Tyntesfield, stands proudly at the top of the Upper Quadrangle and houses 70 boys aged 13-18. Gibbs’ boys strive to live by the Gibbs’ family motto, Tenax Propositi – strength of purpose.

The House photograph above has been reproduced by kind permission of Gillman & Soame photographers and can be re-ordered by visiting or telephone 01869 328200

Position Name
Housemaster Mr M J H Smith (2000-)
House Matron: Mrs D Hummel
Assistant Housemistress: Ms K Edwards
House Tutors: Mr D N Cox
  Mr O de Sales
  Mrs P S Faulkner
  Mr G S Thomas
  Dr M E Walsh


 Gibbs' House: From the Archives...


The Gibbs’ House opened in 1913. The foundation stone (for the completion of the Upper Quad) was laid in 1910 by the Marquess of Salisbury, whose father had supported Woodard.

It was designed by Maxwell Ayrton who had been commissioned to complete the Upper Quad, and named for Henry Martin Gibbs.

He was a former pupil who became one of Woodard’s most devoted supporters. A member of the wealthy, high church Gibbs family of Tyntesfield in Somerset, he was passionate about the gothic buildings, especially the Chapel to which he contributed generously as well as paying for the building of Great School and other parts of the Upper Quad, of which Gibbs’ forms the western side. The Housemaster originally lived in the centre of the house where the Matron now lives, and Gibbs’ shared a matron with Field’s who lived between the houses where the Gibbs’ Housemaster now lives.

Notable Housemasters of Gibbs’ include Dick Harris, later head of Saint Ronan’s; T A L Whittington a county cricketer; Professor Sheppard Frere CBE, FBA, Emeritus Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire at the University of Oxford; the Revd Henry Thorold, antiquarian, aesthete and author; John Bell OL and Christopher Doidge. In recent years Gibbs’ has enjoyed a particularly strong reputation for music and drama.

Gibbs' has the feel of being in a big house full of your mates, rather than that of a school boarding house.
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