Bilton Grange Preparatory School is rich in history. Originally started as a school in 1873 and in its current location since 1887, Bilton Grange prides itself on developing happy, confident and successful pupils.
Situated in 90 acres, our main Prep School building was originally bought by Washington Hibbert in 1846 and it was Hibbert who first asked Augustus Pugin to build a mansion around the pre-existing Georgian farmhouse. During this period Pugin was also designing the interiors, and the exterior detailing, of the House of Lords and the Commons at Westminster. Pugin designed the overall plan of the building, the tiles, the stained glass, the panelling, the heraldic beasts on the staircase, the wallpaper, the door furniture and other structures around the grounds including the walled garden and adjacent cottage.
In the 1860s the building was bought by John Lancaster who added the bay windows, created the current main drive and built the small lodge, now known as Island Cottage, and the North Lodge.
In the summer of 1887, the Reverend Walter Earle moved the school he had started in Yarlet in 1873 to Bilton Grange. One of the first additions Walter Earle made was to convert the brewhouse and the working men’s room to become the Chapel we enjoy today, as well as of course the classroom building which was designed to fit seamlessly with the Pugin mansion.
The Bilton Register, which became our Bilton Record (yearbook) was established in 1888 and in 1922, following the death of our founder, the Old Biltonian (alumni) Society was established.
In 1938 the kindergarten for day boys and girls was opened at Homefield. Later to become a school for boys up to age eight and for girls up to age twelve, the Homefield building is now used for our Pre-Prep department catering for children from Reception to Year 3.
In the early 1990s, the School became co-educational and Homefield became the Pre-Prep we see today.
The School has continued to innovate over the years adding the Ravenscroft Theatre in the 1960s, an indoor 25m swimming pool in the 1970s, a Sports Hall and Music School in the 1980s, a Craft Design and Technology centre in the 1990s, a full size hockey pitch in our Pugin walled garden in 2015 and in 2019 it opened the extension to our wonderful Music School.
In January 2020, Bilton Grange merged with Rugby School . The two nearby schools have enjoyed wide-ranging links for many years, with both sharing a similar ethos and commitment to high standards of teaching and learning.
“History oozes out of every nook and cranny of the country pile.” – Good Schools Guide