• Rupert House is academically inspiring

  • Rupert House is co-educational

  • Rupert House is at the heart of Henley

  • Rupert House is active

  • Rupert House is for life

Our History

Rupert House School was founded in 1924 by a man called Mr Grugeon. He and his wife had three sons and they lived together in St Andrews Road. He wanted to educate his sons locally so he founded the school in New Street. It was originally called St Joan’s School (after Joan of Arc). 

At first, the school was very small, with only ten or so pupils, but it soon expanded.  The school moved to its present position in Bell Street in 1930, under the aegis of two main teachers, Miss Hallett and Miss Verrall, who retired in 1944.  Miss Densham took over the school as Headmistress and changed the name to Rupert House in 1947.  The name was changed because it was soon after the end of the Second World War, and since Joan of Arc was French and was killed by the English, and the French had been our allies, it would not have been a good name.

Prince Rupert was the nephew of King Charles I, which is why there is a crown in the school’s crest. He commanded the king’s cavalry in the English Civil War and was renowned for his extreme bravery.  One of his many battles was in Henley, and the Grade II listed school building dates from this period.

After the king’s defeat, Prince Rupert sailed the English navy across the Atlantic, where he became a pirate of the Caribbean, later returning to become Lord of the Admiralty during the Restoration, to great acclaim.  An intellectual, scientist and artist, he co-founded The Royal Society.

Behind its iconic blue front door, Rupert House School has gradually expanded, and visitors are often surprised by just how far it extends backwards and outwards from its original narrow town house facade.  At the end of the 20th century, the nearby playing fields on the beautiful Fairmile were added to the School’s estate.