Gallery: Guildhall Feoffment School celebrates 170th anniversary in style

The Guildhall Feoffment Primary school in Bury St Edmunds celebrates it's 170th Birthday with a birt

The Guildhall Feoffment Primary school in Bury St Edmunds celebrates it's 170th Birthday with a birthday party, the annual Jankyn Smyth Service at St Mary's Church and the traditional cake and ale ceremony at the school - Credit: Andy Abbott

The clocks were turned back at an historic school this week, as pupils and staff celebrated a significant milestone.

The Guildhall Feoffment School in Bury St Edmunds was built in 1843 during Queen Victoria’s reign.

The Bridwell Lane premises were originally established by the Guildhall Feoffment Trust as a ‘poor boys school’ and the building – designed by Henry Kendall – features the coat of arms of the trust’s founder Jankyn Smythe.

The trust itself, which dates back to medieval times, still manages a number of the borough’s historic properties, including the school.

To celebrate the anniversary, the school held a series of events, culminating in a ‘Victorian birthday party’ on July 2.


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Around 265 students dressed in Victorian costume for the day and took part in activities and games of the period.

Headteacher Sue Herriott said: “The children have been studying the Victorians in history for this term’s topic alongside the history of the school, the trust and their importance to the town.

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“So as part of the anniversary celebrations, we all dressed in special costumes and had a lovely cake made to mark the occasion.

“The children had an exciting time and loved being together for the day. Several parents also attended so it was a great school community event.”

As part of the anniversary festivities, the school took part in a Jankyn Smythe memorial service at St Mary’s Church. They also held an open day to enable current parents and pupils past and present to visit the school and see how it has changed over the decades. Among those who attended were two former pupils who both went to school there during the late 1930s.

Students staged an art display and a talk was given about the history of the school.

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