Foremarke Identity and Heritage
History of Foremarke Hall
The school was established in 1940 at The Cross in Repton with just eight boys, and then in 1942 it moved to Latham House. By the end of the War there were over 100 boys in the prep school, but as the senior school numbers increased the prep school was in danger of being closed or squeezed out. Fortunately Foremarke Hall, an elegant Georgian mansion some 2 miles from Repton became available; this fine house had been used throughout the war as an Officer Cadet Training Unit. The army moved out in 1946 and the following year the school moved in, renting the building from the Church Commissioners.
The first Headmaster of Repton Preparatory School was B W Thomas (1940-47); he reverted to being housemaster of Latham House when the school moved to Foremarke, where K L T Jackson became Headmaster until 1960 to be followed by T Davies from 1960-1985. In September 1985 he was succeeded by R C Theobald who retired in July 2000. Paul Brewster was then appointed and stayed at Foremarke until July 2007. Paddy Watson followed as Headmaster before Richard Merriman took over the role in April 2011.
The school was able to purchase the freehold of Foremarke Hall in 1967 with its 40 acres of land and three cottages. From 1968, when new buildings were erected, the school began to take day pupils and became co-educational. In July 1989 the indoor swimming pool was completed and this was followed in 1991 by the new Sports Hall. New Block was extended in 1994 to provide three more classrooms and a new wing for Year 3.
The School purchased the Garden Building and the Walled Gardens in 1995 with future developments in mind. In 1996 The Pre-Preparatory was started for 5 and 6 year olds, extending to 3 and 4 year olds and moving to a new building in September 1997. In 2000 the theatre was transformed to include tiered seating, a proscenium arch and a new lighting system. It was then named the Richard Theobald Theatre in honour of the retiring Headmaster and New Block was renamed the Tom Davies Building at the same time.
In 2002 a dedicated ‘flexi-boarding’ house was established and the boys’ boarding facilities were substantially upgraded and divided into two houses, ‘Francis’ and ‘Burdett’. In 2003 the girls boarding was also upgraded and, after extensive refurbishment, an additional classroom and changing rooms were added to house the growing Lower School. The new astro turf pitch was opened in 2003 and Pre-Prep extension was opened in 1997. The Tom Davies extension opened in 2006 and a refurbishment of the changing facilities has been completed.
In September 2015 the school celebrated its 75th anniversary.