Pinewood was the brainchild of the Reverend F F Brackenbury.  He founded the school in 1875 at Maiden Erleigh in Berkshire. In 1883 it was moved to Farnborough, Hampshire and the school remained there until 1938.

During the Second World War, the school led a gypsy-like existence moving sites four times, finally settling at Postbridge in Devon in 1941.  The Headmaster at the time, Mr Cecil Ranger, sadly died during term time, an event which stuck in the memories of Old Pinewoodians at the school for a long while.  The school became a limited company and in 1946, under the Headmastership of Mr G Wakeham, the search began for a permanent home.  After five years on Dartmoor, this new home was found in the form of the Bourton estate, originally in Berkshire, (changing county boundaries mean the school is now on the Oxfordshire / Wiltshire borders) which was purchased from the Butler family.  There was a railway station on the London-Bristol railway line only half a mile from the school, at the end of the avenue at that time, which made it a very convenient location. The school began its first term there on May 7th 1946 with 75 pupils and reverted to the original name of Pinewood.

In 1958 Mr G A Walters became Headmaster and the school enjoyed a very happy and stable period with developments taking place such as the conversion of the stable block into science labs and a gymnasium.  He was succeeded in 1978 by Old Pinewoodian Mr H G C Boddington (1947-1952).  Henry Boddington led Pinewood through a huge amount of change and transition,  reflecting changing national trends in boarding and prep schools more generally.  The school started taking girls, with his two daughters leading the way, in 1978 and day pupils were added to the existing boarders.  Additional facilities were added such as the Music School and the construction of the “Junior End”, known today as Lower School.  The Pre-Prep was opened in 1993 taking over the stable block and welcoming 3-7 year olds to the school for the first time.

Henry was succeeded by Jim Croysdale in 1997 and, following an interim year where the school was led by Chris Stewart-Clark, in September 2002 Philip and Henrietta Hoyland took over the running of the school.  With the arrival of the Hoylands and the implementation of a new strategic vision for Pinewood designed to lead the school towards 2020, a significant building programme and academic restructuring of the school has taken place.  This started with the astroturf in 2004 and ended with the Teaching & Learning Centre in 2020.  In September 2020 Neal Bailey took over the headship of Pinewood, joined by his wife Nicola and their two boys.

Pinewood Headmasters

1875-1899       Rev F F Brackenbury

1899-1919       Mr H Bull

1919-1927       Colonel Shirley

1927-1941       Mr C A Ranger

1941-1958       Mr G Wakeham

1958-1978       Mr G A Walters

1978-1997       Mr H G C Boddington

1997-2001       Mr J Croysdale

2001-2002       Mr C Stewart-Clark

2002-2020       Mr P J Hoyland

2020-to date   Mr N Bailey

Notable Dates

1875:   Pinewood founded

1946:   School moves to its current site in Bourton

1954:   23rd July – The Queen visited the school

1974:   Day pupils added

1975:   105 boys on the roll

1978:   Co-education arrives

1993:   Pre-Prep Opens

2000:   The 125th Anniversary was celebrated

2021:   400 pupils on the roll from 3-13

2021:    21st May TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall opened the new Hoyland teaching and learning centre.

Postbridge Church
Postbridge Church
Commemorative Plaque
Commemorative Plaque

Pinewood during the Second World War

The situation in Europe in 1938 was becoming ominous with war imminent. As a consequence it was decided that Pinewood should move to a more suitable location from it’s site in Farnborough which was adjacent to the Farnborough air base.

Find out more …

Plus buttonMinus buttonRefresh button