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Sport

In the sixteenth century, the School created half holidays in which it is assumed boys played sport, and one sport that it is known was played at that time by those boys was cricket.

In 1598, there was a dispute over the School's ownership of a plot of land in which someone gave evidence of having played cricket at this site fifty years earlier (circa 1550). This is generally considered to be the first mention of cricket in the English language.

There is no further mention of sport at the RGS until 1859-75 when Merriman was Headmaster. Merriman purchased Allen House for his boarding pupils in 1866 and its grounds became available for the use of the boys. Drill and swimming were on the curriculum but the provision of organised games and the playing fields necessary for them only came after the reorganisation of the School in 1888 and then the initiative came from the new Headmaster JC Honeybourne. For many years, the School had to borrow and rent pitches or arrange only away fixtures. A cricket field was rented in 1891, Stoke Recreation ground was used for soccer matches and Allen House was borrowed for athletic sports. There was also a school swimming club which used the Corporation Baths in Castle Street.

From 1893, the problem of finding a suitable field for cricket and football had plagued the School, but by 1900 a field had been obtained; however, it was too rough for cricket. In 1902, the first pavilion was built. Meanwhile, drill was once more back on the curriculum, the fives court was repaired and the gymnasium was rebuilt.

In 1914, the grounds of Allen House were presented to the School, but after the First World War, Allen House Field was no longer big enough and in 1924 a field in what is now Boxgrove Avenue was rented. A year later, rugby was introduced. Urn Field was purchased after lengthy negotiations in 1964/5 but was later abandoned and the current Bradstone Brook Sports Ground was purchased in 1985.

"They really play to their [the boys'] strengths"
Good Schools Guide