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The West Berkshire Historic Environment Record (HER) is the primary index of the physical remains of past human activity in the unitary authority of West Berkshire Council. Limited elements of the West Berkshire HER are available online via the Heritage Gateway, therefore it is not suitable for use in desk-based studies associated with development, planning and land-use changes, and does not meet the requirements of paragraph 194 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2021: 56). Please read the important guidance on the use of the West Berkshire HER data. For these purposes and all other commercial enquiries, please contact the Archaeology team and complete our online HER enquiry form.

This site is designated as being of national importance and is afforded additional protection. Consult West Berkshire Council's Archaeology team if more information or advice is needed.

HER Number MWB3456
Record Type Monument
Name St Bartholomew's Grammar School (Wormestall's Chantry)

Grid Reference SU 469 666
Map Sheet SU46NE
Parish Newbury, West Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


Grammar school founded at Wormstall's Chantry prior to 1466, amalgamated with St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the reign of Edward VI

Associated Legal Designations or Protected Status

  • Conservation Area: Newbury Town Centre
  • Scheduled Monument 1005379: LITTEN CHAPEL

Other Statuses and Cross-References

  • Berkshire SMR No. (pre 2000): 01389.09.200

Monument Type(s):

Full Description

St Bartholomew's Grammar School evolved from Wormestall's Chantry, founded in 1466. The almshouses and the school seem to have been transferred to the buildings of St Barthomew's Hospital in Edward VI's reign, for in 1578 the chapel was reported as having been converted into a school house <1>. From this period, until 1814, the hospital and school were merged as one <2>. As well as the chapel, an adjacent building must have been used for the school; Willis's map of Newbury marks this building as 'The Free School' and on the City Plan of c1800 the Rev Best, the school master, is listed as its occupant <3> <4> <5>.

Best died in 1814 but his widow carried on living in the Litten House. A woodcut and oil painting from the early 19th century depict the chapel and house next to it. In 1829 certain irregularities were stated to exist in the Hospital's management, and the charity's affairs were brought before the Court of Chancery until 1841. Money was spent on repairing the property and a few years later a new school was built on the site of the old Litten House. The school reopened in 1849, continuing on this site until the opening of new buildings in 1885 on Enborne Road (the Wormestall building of the current St Bartholomew's School).

A full history of the grammar school is provided by a publication produced after a visit by the Queen in 1972 <6>. This also gives a snapshot of the facilities prior to its conversion to a co-educational comprehensive school.

Sources and further reading

<01>Money, W. 1887. The History of Newbury. p216-25. [Monograph / SWB11828]
http://archive.org/stream/cu31924028185811 (Accessed 02/09/2013)
<02>Berkshire Archaeological Society. 1935. Berkshire Archaeological Journal 1935 39. 39. In ADS Journals. 10.5284/1000017. p36-38 in St Bartholomew's Hospital, Newbury. [Article in serial / SWB12128]
http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/berks_bas_2007/journal.cfm?volume=39 (Accessed 27/07/2016)
<03>Willis, John. 1768. Willis' Map of the Country ten miles round Newbury, with a plan of the Town of Newbury and of Speenhamland, 1768. 2 inch to mile?. Town Map No 3 'The Free School'. [Map / SWB8040]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/50263734041 (Accessed 16/09/2021)
<04>Newbury District Field Club. 1998. TRANS NEWBURY DISTRICT FIELD CLUB 1998 VOL 14 NO 2/3. p51-2. [Article in serial / SWB12918]
<05>Toomer?. c 1800. Plan of The City (Newbury). [Map / SWB14084]
<06>Allan, S (ed). 1972. Wherof that town hath great need - A Brief History of Saint Bartholomew's Grammar School, Newbury. [Monograph / SWB14716]
<07>Page and Ditchfield (eds). 1924. Victoria County History (VCH) Berks IV 1924. Vol 4. p152. [Monograph / SWB10281]
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/berks/vol4 (Accessed 24/09/2015)
<08>Ditchfield and Page (eds). 1907. Victoria County History (VCH) Berks II 1907. Vol 2. p272-275. [Monograph / SWB11244]
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/berks/vol2 (Accessed 24/09/2015)
<09>Keevil Heritage Consultancy. 2009. The Litten, Newbury, West Berkshire: Archaeological Impact Appraisal of Proposed Development. 2012 WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB150209]

Related Monuments

MWB16161Litten House, Newtown Road, Newbury (The Litten) (Building)
MWB16462Luker Court, Newbury (formerly Luker building of St Bartholomew's School, and previously Newbury Girls' School) (Building)
MWB22193Site of School Room, St Bartholomew's Grammar School, Newtown Road, Newbury (Monument)
MWB16461St Bartholomew's School, Newbury - Wormestall building (Building)
MWB3453St Bartholomew's Hospital (Monument)
MWB3454Litten Chapel, Newtown Road, Newbury (Building)
MWB3452St Nicolas' Church, Newbury: Chantries (Monument)
MWB16687Wormstall (Building)

Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

EWB1940The Litten, Newbury: Heritage Impact Assessment