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The Victorian School

1853 - The Hall of The Carnary College was divided into two upper floors adding new accommodation and teaching space. At this point the façade of School House took on the appearance that we see today when viewed from the Upper Close. The Verger's Tenement adjoining The Erpingham Gate was added to the school premises.

1861 - A new boarding house was constructed to the North of the Chapel (by J Benest) which enabled more comfort for pupils and a purpose built kitchen and refectory below. The bell tower was also added at this juncture. The chapel was still the main school room with classes divided up within the single space. The Headmaster's coach-house was converted into a woodwork room.

The school curriculum was broadened under the work of headmasters Valpy and Jessop and alterations to the school accommodation boosted conditions so that numbers rose to 300 pupils on the books at its high point which shows considerable progress from when pupil numbers fell to 10 or 11 during the darkest days of the Napoleonic Wars in 1810.

1903 - The Lodge ceased to be the boarding house and underwent refurbishment for teaching and administratative facilities. School End House was leased to the school.

1908 - New Buildings was constructed for a new suite of teaching rooms and, at last, after 357 years the Carnary chapel returned to the role of religious assembly. This was not fully consecrated for use as a church until 1940 as refurbishment was a costly business; the building was run down after centuries of use as a schoolroom.

The First World War: during the war 52 Old Norvicensians lost their lives. A major school cadet force was established in 1916 and more than three quarters of the school belonged to the group. Numbers of pupils was actually larger at the end of the war in 1918 than at the beginning in 1914.


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