We are fortunate in our location at the heart of a beautiful market town, not least because for over 450 years the School and town have been part of the same community. Our pupils take their place within this community, not isolated from it.
Our School buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the heart of the town, creating a unique environment and community. Our pupils share the town of Oundle with local residents, instilling in them an appreciation of the responsibilities of co-location and helping to create a natural humility. Oundelians pass through the streets as they go to lessons, games or other activities and this instils in them an appreciation of being part of both a School and a local community, giving a unique feel to the School.
Oundle itself is a small and thriving historic market town in the heart of Northamptonshire, with Peterborough just 15 minutes away and offering a direct 45 minute rail service to London Kings’ Cross. Edinburgh can be reached in four hours by train while the city of York is just over an hour by train. Cambridge is under an hour’s drive while all major UK airports are within easy reach. It is, perhaps, a little-known fact that our county of Northamptonshire borders eight other counties, including Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire. Indeed, this doorway to all corners of the UK is supported by the geographical spread of our boarding community; we take pride in the fact that so many of our boarders come from over 120 feeder schools all around the UK.
Recorded in the Domesday Book as one of five market towns in Northamptonshire, Oundle’s Market Charter was renewed by King Edgar in 972 and granted to the Abbot of Peterborough. In 1539, John Leyland reported to Henry VIII that ‘Oundle has a good market’ and by the mid 1600s the town had become prosperous, selling cattle, sheep and grain. Markets are still a mainstay of the town, with the Market Place now home to a buzz of activity, from regular Thursday markets, local farmers’ markets and food traders to antique dealers and a travelling fishmonger. Located at the heart of the town, it is flanked on all sides by shops and cafés, many of which span decades of family tradition.
With a current population of 5000, Oundle is a charming and harmonious combination of the old and the new, retaining its rich architectural inheritance while sensitively developing modern amenities. Renowned for its Georgian streets and impressive limestone buildings, Oundle has a spirited cultural and sporting life, with a wide range of sports clubs, independent shops, coffee houses and eateries. Encircled by the river Nene, upon which the School has two boat Houses, the town is blessed with beautiful countryside and many picturesque villages nearby. It also has many ancient buildings, intriguing alleyways, ancient inns and one of the finest churches in the region; St Peter’s Church, whose spire forms a distinctive landmark for miles around. It is indeed, the perfect venue for our Thursday lunchtime music concerts which are open to all.
"The School and town are closely entwined and the contribution of pupils to the life of the community is much greater than mere geographical presence."ISI INSPECTION REPORT 2021