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Our History

Canford Manor traces its origins to Saxon times and grew to considerable local prominence in the early Middle Ages, passing through the hands of the Earls of Salisbury and, as part of the Duchy of Lancaster, frequently reverting to the Crown.

From those times, only the Norman church and the 14th century John o'Gaunt's Kitchen survive. Services are held in the former and debates, meetings and receptions in the latter.

The main building, which forms the nucleus of the school was designed by Edward Blore and later by Sir Charles Barry in the early and mid 19th century. It is Grade 1 listed.

The buildings stand in fine parkland beside the River Stour. One of the most gratifying bequests to us is the rich arboretum, dating from the Victorian period, which graces the school in all seasons. There is ample space in the park to fulfill the school's sporting and other needs without affecting the beauty of the environment.

The Manor was purchased from Lord Wimborne and in May 1923 Canford School was founded. With an eye to both the past and the future, the school has developed a wide variety of modern facilities as its numbers have grown. Meanwhile, the ancient buildings and fine surroundings enhance the quality of the daily lives of all at the school.

John o'Gaunt's Kitchen