A school steeped in history

York Minster Song School, as it was in c.1900. Photograph © City of York Council / Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual Ltd
3 Jun 2020 @ 5.45 pm
| History

The Minster School in York has a claim to be one of the oldest schools in the world.

Founded in 627 by the first Archbishop of York, Paulinus, as a ‘song school’, boy choristers were educated there, and continued to lead the choral worship in York Minster throughout the subsequent centuries.

Buildings used by the school have been awarded listed status, among them the school house built between 1830 and 1833, two houses dating back to 1837, and a Georgian building of 1755.

Children from The Minster School help Head Verger Alex Carberry lift the advent wreath into position in York Minster in November 2016. Photograph: Richard McDougall

The current school was re-established in 1903. In 1987, The Minster School became a fully co-educational preparatory school with its own pre-prep department for younger pupils.

In 1995, the school welcomed girl choristers for the first time, to “share the commitments of the existing boys’ choir”.

In March 2018, three members of staff were suspended from Minster School after the discovery of unsecured air rifles on the premises.

It led to protests by parents calling for their reinstatement.