Five things to do at Sherborne School

Sherborne offers a rich variety of activities for its pupils. Here are five things to do while attending the School

Steeped in history but alive to the future. A vibrant all-boys educational experience with strong links to a local girls’ school. Fantastic sport, music, academic stretch and creative arts. 

Sherborne offers a whole host of opportunities for boys to grow. Here are five things to do while studying at the School. 

1. Follow in the footsteps of Alan Turing

Since the success of The Imitation Game movie, Alan Turing is a household name. The pioneer of computer science played a fundamental role in cracking the Enigma code and helping the Allies to victory in the Second World War. His legacy will be marked in 2021 when he becomes the face of the new polymer £50 note. 

Turing was a gifted mathematician who studied at Sherborne from 1926 to 1931. In that time, he developed his interest in ciphers and cryptography, setting him up for his later contribution to the war effort. 

A resident of Westcott House, where he frequently conducted science experiments, Turing studied in the Upper Library and regularly borrowed books on cryptography and maths. His presence is felt keenly at the School, which opened its Computer Science Department in 2019. Westcott House is due to reopen in 2021, in response to the burgeoning demand for Sherborne’s full-boarding offer. 

2. Play sport on The Upper

“The finest piece of ground in Dorset, perhaps in the south of England.” That’s the way The Upper was described by a visitor to Sherborne in 1860 and it’s hard to disagree. 

The Upper was first used for sport in the late nineteenth century and has hosted matches ever since. It gets its name from the slope that was a feature of the field until 1869, creating a “lower” and an “upper” part. 

As well as rugby, introduced at Sherborne by Arnold of Rugby’s nephew Charles Penrose in 1846, The Upper is used for cricket. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle played there twice as part of the Incogniti Cricket Club, as did test cricketers Arthur Carr and David Sheppard – both of whom studied at Sherborne. 

3. Worship in the School chapel

History seeps from the honeyed stone of Sherborne and is no more keenly felt than in the School chapel. 

A silent walk up the war memorial staircase en route to chapel presents you with the names of 460 Shirburnians who died in the two World Wars. It is a fitting reminder of the cost to this small community of the twentieth century’s harshest conflicts: a longstanding tradition that is honoured by Sherborne’s residents and guests alike in tribute to the fallen.

Alongside this poignancy is the spirit of Shirburnians who have worshipped in the chapel for generations. The carved pulpit, choir stalls and chancel screens were made in 1929 by renowned ecclesiastical furnisher Herbert Read of Exeter. 

It all makes for a perfect environment in which to step back from the bustle of School life and take time to reflect. 

4. Sing in the vaulted splendour of Sherborne Abbey

Sherborne Abbey has been a seat of Christian worship for more than 1,000 years. Its fifteenth century fan vaulting creates an awe-inspiring setting for worship, performance and private contemplation. 

The Abbey was built in about 1140, following a Romanesque style. The beauty of its architecture provides a fitting backdrop for the soaring melodies of Sherborne’s choir. 

The School’s Director of Music Jamie Henderson is also Director of Music at the Abbey. As a result, there is ample opportunity for pupils to experience the elegance of liturgical music, as well as the unrivalled pleasure of performing in front of a knowledgeable and appreciative audience. 

Whether you’re performing or listening, music in the Abbey is an experience like no other. Even better, it’s set right at the heart of Sherborne’s vibrant local community. 

5. Attend one of a select group of boys-only boarding schools in the UK

There are just a handful of top-flight all-boys’ schools in the UK, and the chance to study at one is a genuine privilege. 

While preserving the benefits of a single-sex classroom, Sherborne has something unique to offer, thanks to its close relationship with Sherborne Girls. Although it was once forbidden for boys to speak to girls, or even raise their boaters at them, that’s all changed now (the boaters have gone, too). 

With strong links between the schools, boys and girls are encouraged to socialise and enjoy many activities such as music, drama and art together. The result is an experience like no other: a fantastic single-sex education with all the social opportunities of a co-educational setting. 

No wonder people say that Sherborne offers the best of both worlds. It really does have something for everyone.  

Find out more at or call our admissions team on 01935 810 403 /