History of the House
The post of Second Master carried with it a Housemastership from the foundation until 1892. The Revd A C Wilson was the first Housemaster. He had already been Second Master in the old Shoreham days and was a very charismatic figure. Life in the house in the 1860s is described in the journal of a pupil, Sam Brooke, which was published in the 1950s. Wilson encouraged music and drama and Second’s was the first house to put on plays. A century later it would be the House of lyricist Sir Tim Rice and dramatist Christopher Hampton. Sir Roy Calne, the transplant surgeon, the Revd the Lord (Stephen) Green, banker and clergyman, and Sinclair Beecham, the founder of Pret A Manger, were also members of Second’s. Housemaster The Revd H S Cooper was a talented all-round sportsman and established ‘the Grubber’ (the original tuck shop on the Dyke Field). Among other notable Housemasters were the Revd T W Cook OL, later Bishop of Lewes, an exceptionally popular and energetic master and sportsman; E B Gordon (Gordo), one of Lancing’s great characters, and Bernard Fielding. Alan Evans-Jones, who was also, coincidentally, Second Master while still in the House, continued the strong sporting tradition of the House, and was followed by Richard Tanner and Martin Bentley.
The Second’s House, in the north wing of the Lower Quad, is one of the oldest Lancing buildings. It developed westwards from its junction with the (much later) Dining Hall. The old Second Master’s family house is incorporated into this building at its east end, where the Matron now lives.
For a few years in the 1970s the former drawing room was used as a day room by Lancing’s earliest girl pupils. The western end was not finished until 1926. Until then there was just a curtain wall on the quad side with an ancient temporary wooden houseroom behind it. The present magnificent houseroom completed the House, with a porch designed and built by the school works department on the north side where the undercroft of Great School was colonised by ‘pitts’.
In the 1960s a north wing of studies, designed by Peter Collymore was added with a new Housemaster’s residence at the end. The vast monastic dormitories and roof spaces lent themselves to conversion into individual study-bedrooms without external changes, and the basement was opened up for junior boys as numbers grew.