Pupils at Monkton Combe School have joined forces with former students for a celebration of the school’s 150 years in Bath. Generations of Old Monktonians and staff came together with current pupils for the historic anniversary Service of Celebration at Bath Abbey.

The school was founded in 1868 in Monkton Combe village, just a mile from Bath, by the Reverend Francis Pocock and quickly grew from a handful of pupils to over 700 today, ranging from age two to 18. It became a boys and girls school in 1992 when it merged with Clarendon School for Girls.

As well as performances from the schools’ choirs, the Abbey was also filled with reminiscences from former pupils about their time at Monkton, read by current students.

A highlight of the event, which was also attended by the Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset Mrs Annie Maw and the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset Edward Bayntun-Coward, was an interview between the senior school’s current Head Girl Lily Riley and Monkton’s Senior Prefect from 1959 David Adeney.

The school has produced a number of notable former pupils, including Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE, the former Head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, Steve Williams OBE the Double Olympic Gold and multi World Gold and Silver Rowing Champion, author Bernard Cornwell and Chris Anderson the owner and curator of TED Talks.

A gathering of Old Monktonians after the service also saw former staff and pupils meeting again after many years, to reminisce and mark the school’s birthday.

Senior Master at Monkton Combe School, Martyn Creeth, who is overseeing the 150th anniversary year said, “It was an absolute delight to bring together our former and current pupils, along with staff and parents to start our year of celebrations for Monkton. It is no surprise that Monkton has reached such an auspicious age. It was built on strong foundations by Reverend Pocock in 1868 and the values which he set out are still true for the school, our staff and pupils today.”