Schools: Christ's College, Finchley

Page 290

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.

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In this section

SCHOOLS (fn. 1)


In 1857 the Revd. Thomas Reader White, Rector of Finchley, converted the Queen's Head Tavern, near St. Mary's church, into a school, opened as Finchley Hall School with three boys. By 1860 there were 150, all boarders, and a new building was erected opposite on the east side of Hendon Lane. After the first year or two White did little teaching, but appointed himself 'Warden'. (fn. 2) The first headmaster, the Revd. T. C. Whitehead (1866-73), believed in military discipline and constant supervision; the boys were known by numbers, were marched to and from meals with their band, and slept as many as 60 to a dormitory. (fn. 3) The Revd. R. W. Gallop succeeded Whitehead as 'Headmaster and Chaplain' and became proprietor on the death of White in 1877. In 1895, when numbers were down to 65, mostly day boys, the school was bought by the father of the new headmaster, J. T. Phillipson, who aroused much opposition by changing from rugby to association football; one result was that the school had two independent Old Boy associations for half a century. By 1902 numbers had decreased to 50, but Phillipson nevertheless managed to get the school taken over by the Middlesex County Council on his own terms, with himself as headmaster, his existing staff, and Church of England services in the chapel. Numbers rose and by 1914 there were almost 250 boys. In 1927 there were 380 on the roll, new buildings were erected, and the chapel was demolished. Under the new headmaster, H. B. Pegrum, who succeeded Phillipson in 1929, the school continued to flourish, and by 1944 the number of boys exceeded 500. (fn. 4) By January 1965 there were 582 pupils on the roll. (fn. 5)


  • 1. This section contains histories of some of the more important or educationally significant schools in Middlesex founded more than a century ago. Other schools have been or will be treated in other volumes of the Middlesex History. Schools which originated in the cities of London or Westminster, whether remaining there or not, are reserved for treatment in V.C.H. London. University College School is dealt with in the section on University College (see p. 357).
  • 2. Centenary Book of Christ's College, ed. A. T. Milne, 1-5.
  • 3. Ibid. 6-10; H. W. Nevinson, Changes and Chances, 20-24.
  • 4. Centenary Bk., ed. Milne, 11-34.
  • 5. Ex inf. the headmaster.