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Appleby History > History Tour > Sir John Moore School

Sir John Moore School

Sir John Moore SchoolAppleby's school occupies a famous building, built three hundred years' ago and based on an original design by Sir Christopher Wren.  The building is grade I listed and is now a venue for community events and activities, a heritage centre and museum, as well as a thriving primary school.

The Moore family owned the manor house at Appleby Parva (now demolished).   Sir John Moore made his fortune in the City of London, becoming Lord Mayor of London in 1681 during the reign of Charles II.

Wishing to use his wealth to benefit his home county, Sir John financed the building of a school next to his family estate.

Sir John commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to prepare the initial drawings.  After Wren's first design, the work was taken on by local architect Sir William Wilson.  It opened as a Free School for boys in 1697.

Sir Christopher Wren's design
Sir Christopher Wren's design for the school. Click for larger view

School window in dormitory
Window in an old dormitory, now the Trustee's room

During Victorian times it was a boys' grammar school.  The building was closed between 1933 and 1957, when it reopened as the village primary school.

Dr Samuel Johnson applied for a post as Latin master at the school but he was turned down!.   He was not considered to be sufficiently qualified for the job. 

Appleby's most famous pupil is probably William Huskisson, well known as being the first man to die in a railway accident when he was knocked down by Stephenson's Rocket at the opening of the Liverpool-Manchester railway.  He was a Member of Parliament in Liverpool at the time.

Back of school
The back of the school, with thanks to Margaret Cater for the picture
Click for larger view

Sir John Moore's statue
Sir John Moore's Statue
in the School Hall

More about The School

Other pagees on this site relating to Sir John Moore School

The Sir John Moore Foundation

Web site www.sirjohnmoore.org.uk

This Noble Foundation

Richard Dunmore's history of Sir John Moore School is available in paperback or hardback.  Click here for details.

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