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A wealth of history

Founded by Thomas Foley, an ironmaster, MP and landowner of the Great Witley Estate in Worcestershire, Old Swinford Hospital dates from 1667, just one year after the Great Fire of London.  Originally known as Stourbridge Hospital (charity) and occasionally referred to as Foley’s Blue Coat School, Thomas Foley’s vision was for the education of 60 boys from ‘poor but honest’ families nominated by specific local parishes.

Upon Thomas Foley’s death, the school was left to a group of trustees, his sons amongst them, known as Feoffees. This family tradition has survived the centuries and the Feoffees, including several direct descendants of our founder, retain an active involvement in the school today as trustees and governors.

Thomas Foley’s original aim, to educate and prepare its pupils for life in the wider world, remains an important part of the school’s ethos today. We take great pride in creating a genuine community from which we send pupils, capable, confident and independent, out into the wider world, ready to make an impact for the common good.

As testament to the school’s long-term stability and success, there have been only seven Headmasters since 1882. 


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