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The Beacon was founded in 1933 as a school for boys by its first Headmaster, Stanley Fieldhouse. The School was opened on its current site – known then as Bois Farm – with just five pupils, which is the origin of the five-pointed star on the School crest. The site itself was built in the 17th century and its timbered barns still remain in use today around The Beacon’s Quad.
By 1937, the number of pupils had grown to 35 and, in the 1950s, Bois Farm was bought by the late Philip Masters to accommodate The Beacon’s 60 pupils, made up of boarders and day boys. In 1959, The Beacon’s parents presented the main playing field, called Willsfield, to the School. During his time as Headmaster, Philip ‘Pip’ Masters moved The Beacon to be solely a day prep school and eventually retired in 1972 with around 300 boys on the School roll.
Philip Masters was succeeded as Headmaster of The Beacon by his son-in-law Hugh Davies-Jones and The Beacon Educational Trust was formed. John Cross, formerly Head of French at The Beacon, renewed his association with our School by returning to take up the headship in 1986, shortly before the introduction of the National Curriculum in 1988. The Beacon was also briefly led by its Head of English, Christopher Copeman.
In 1999, Michael Spinney was appointed as The Beacon’s Headmaster and the School grew to over 400 pupils. In 2008/09, The Beacon proudly celebrated its 75th anniversary. Paul Brewster took up the baton from Michael Spinney in September 2009 and served as Headmaster of The Beacon until September 2013. Michael Spinney then returned as interim Headmaster for two years, until William Phelps took over as our present Headmaster in September 2015.
Before Bois Farm was sold for development, The Beacon’s barns once housed a repertory theatre and a dance hall. During the Second World War, the army were billeted in the buildings. There is evidence of this in The Beacon’s present dining hall where ‘Sgts Mess’ has been carved over the doorway.