1854 – School established in Tarvin, mid Cheshire, as Lower Hall, the junior department of Tarvin Hall School. by John Brindley in 1843. In 1853 the Reverend Edward Price had been taken on to establish Lower Hall.
1855 – Lower Hall School moved to Parkgate with Edward Price as Headmaster, into what had been The Mostyn Arms Hotel, previously The George Inn.
1861 – Census records show 61 resident pupils and three assistant masters. School Cadet Corps formed around this time. Algernon Sidney Grenfell (ASG), Mrs Price’s nephew, was invited to Parkgate with a view to taking over the school.
1863 -Goodwill and furniture sold to ASG, by Edward Price.
1875 – Freehold of Mostyn House purchased.
1883 – School leased to the Reverend William F. Barratt. In 1885 he became curate of Neston, retaining headmastership of the school. Relinquished lease on School in November 1889.
1890 – Algenon George Grenfell (AGG), eldest son of ASG, became headmaster, with 23 pupils.
1890 / 1893 – Extensive building work; covered playground, dining room, dormitories, bathrooms and a swimming pool.
1895 – Start of building the Chapel, which took two years to build. Now 103 pupils in the school.
1897 – Four-storey building between the old hotel and the playground commenced, containing large dormitory, several classrooms and boys’ sitting room.
1899 – The Cottage, built in 1891 for staff, extended to become the headmaster’s house.
1904 – Common Entrance exam first introduced.
1905 – Air Rifle League formed, which became the Preparatory Schools Rifle Association.
1906 – The Water Tower built, fed by an artesian well.
1918 – “Sloping Script” handwriting introduced, which every boy had to learn, used until 1959!
1920 – Spelling matches with other schools commenced, and in 1922 his Red Spelling Book (later The Grenfell Spelling Book) published. In 1927 the Schools Spelling League was formed, and a Girls’ Schools Spelling League, three years later.
1922 – A carillon of 31 bells, later increased to 37 bells, was installed as a memorial to former pupils killed in the First World War. The first of two large open-air swimming baths, at the northern end of the Parade, fed by the tide, opened to the public.
1927 – Theatre created.
1932 – The frontage of the school buttressed and decorated with its distinctive black and white appearance.
1933 – AGG retires and leases school to his son, A. M. Daryl Grenfell, with 90 Pupils. Creation of two hard tennis courts.
1937 – Another large classroom block built, releasing space in former classrooms for leisure activities; billiard rooms, model railway room, shooting room and other pastimes.
1939 – Sale of outdoor baths. Air-raid shelter built under the playing field. This could sleep the whole school in bunks. Pupil numbers 120.
1945 – Pupil numbers 150. (Rising to 160 + in 1957).
1964 – Daryl Grenfell died and was succeeded by his son A. D. Julian Grenfell.
1966 / 1969 – Mains electricity installed throughout the school.
1972 – More classrooms, lecture theatre created.
1975 – School became co-educational.
1979 – New indoor swimming pool built.
1980 – The school moved from private ownership to a charitable trust.
1985 – School ceased to admit boarders and started to take in pupils over 14 years of age.
1992 / 1993 – Many old dormitories continued to be converted to classrooms, for the art room, music practice rooms and lecture theatre.
1993 – Sixth form created for pupils over 16. The school now had well over 300 pupils. Mostyn House Infants School opened, in the main school, formed from the prep school in the Brynhir Building.
2002 – Julian Grenfell retired and his daughter, Suzanna Grenfell succeeded him. She was the sixth generation of the family to be head of the school.
2010 – Due to dwindling numbers in pupil intake, the result of the general economic climate, the school closed in the July.
2012 – The carillon was dismantled and the bells were sent back to the foundry of John Taylor and Co Ltd of Loughborough, for refurbishment, prior to being installed at Charterhouse School.
2013 – With many of the buildings Grade ll listed (the chapel was already Grade ll*) the site was bought by PJ Livesey Heritage Homes, for development; a mixture of apartments in existing listed buildings, and new builds.
2015 – Mostyn Place, the re-development of the School and land, completed and all properties sold.
The years 1854 – 2004 taken from “150 Years of Mostyn House School, A short history” by Geoffrey Place. Our thanks to Suzi Grenfell for her help with compiling this page.
The history of the Carrilion can be read about on the Peace Carillions and Tower Bells websites.
(Please note the Tower Bells websites is using the older standard non-SSL encryption so may show an error on loading in a modern browser, you may choose to bypass the error message at your own risk).
Reference to “Sloping Script” handwriting can be seen as part of the book Handwriting of the Twentieth Century by Rosemary Sassoon available in preview on Google Books.
For a more detailed history of the School please see the article on the Neston Past website.