United Grand Lodge of England

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Kingswood School Lodge No 4197

About the School

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Kingswood School

Kingswood School, Bath was founded in 1748 by Rev John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church.

The School was founded in what was then the village of Kingswood just outside of the City of Bristol.

There are a number of popular misconceptions about the original purpose and pupils of the School.

This arises because at about the same time John Wesley also set-up a school for the children of the Colliers of Kingswood. That school was very much for the elementary education of those children and part of John Wesley's continuing concern and interest in the mining (Coal) workers of the area.

The other misconception is that it was founded for the sons of Methodist Ministers. In the 1740's that would have been rather an ambious hope as although the Methodist "movement" was well established it was not yet a "Church" and it is unlikely that there were suffent children of Preachers to have filled any school. Latter in the 19th Centenary there developed the need for Methodist Minister's children to have a dedicated place of education, becuase their parents were constantly changing moving stations (i.e. every third year), or even were overseas on the then expanding Mission field. However, in the 20th Centenary the School began to take Lay Persons' sons again, as well as still being the place of education for Ministers Sons.

Girls were admitted from 1970 onwards, and the school is now fully co-educational. Co-incidently as it was when it first took in pupils in 1748!

In 1748 John Wesley like several other Clergymen of the time, saw one of thier roles as being the founders and principals of places of education. Many founded what were and remained local primary elementary schools. John Wesley in founding Kingswood did so for the children of his friends and the much larger number of those who now followed and supported his movement. As such they were drawn from throughout the UK. Some of the teaching introduced by John Wesley was progressive by the normal standards of the 18th Centenary but, by todays stardards the regime would be considered harsh; early rising, long periods of study, etc

As the school developed under subsciquent Headmasterships, whilst it retained and still retains both its Christian Ethos and Progressive nature it has adapted to changing times and aspirations of both Parents and Pupils. It is thus now one of the leading Schools in the Country with a high internalional reknown.

Amongst the Alumi of the School are many who have made a considerable contribution to many aspects of society. As Methodist Ministers, Politicians, Civil Service, in Medicine, Scientific discovery, distinguised War Service, Sports and the Arts and Theatre. Some of those have been Founders and Members of the Lodge and we are currently researching thier biographies in preparation for the Lodge Centenary

In 1851 the school moved to its current site on Lansdown, Bath.

Full histories of the school have been written in three major books so far