Our History and Archives

Our History

Abingdon is one of the oldest schools in England. There is no surviving date for its foundation but the School grew up alongside Abingdon Abbey, which was first founded in 675 and re-founded in 975.

The earliest references to the School come in a legal document of 1100, and from the will of the Abbot of Abingdon, John de Blosneville, who in 1256 left money for the support of thirteen poor scholars. It is thought that at this time classes were held in St Nicolas’ Church but by 1375 a legal document locates the School in two adjacent premises in Stert Street. More…

The Archives

The Abingdon School archives contain the administrative records of the School together with collections of books, clothing, photographs, artefacts and memorabilia associated with its long history.

The earliest items date back to the sixteenth century but the bulk of the records date from the mid-nineteenth century and from 1879, when the New Scheme of Governance was established, the records are fairly complete.

Online digital collections:

  • In 2013, to mark the 450th anniversary of Roysse’s endowment, the School uploaded A History of Abingdon School in 63 Objects, which serves as an excellent outline of the contents of the archives.
  • The School magazine, The Abingdonian, was first published in December 1890 and has been published every year ever since. It has been digitised and can be word searched online.
  • The School’s First World War Archive Collection was compiled and uploaded in the summer of 2014 to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the war.

Archives Open:

Monday to Wednesday 9 am to 5.30 pm term-time only. Visitors to the archives are welcome but please contact the archivist, Mrs Sarah Wearne, beforehand: sarah.wearne@abingdon.org.uk