History of the School

The school is situated near the centre of the historic Cathedral City of Canterbury on a World Heritage site. The “old house”, a fine Georgian manor house built in 1750, with its lake, ancient trees, gardens and playing fields make Barton Court an idyllic place in which to learn.


Barton Court Grammar School is one of the few co-educational Grammar Schools in the country and is situated around an ancient lake in beautiful walled grounds on the edge of Canterbury. The school is within 5 minutes walking distance from the city centre.

There are just under 850 students on roll, including a Sixth Form of over 200 with our Pupil Admissions Number (PAN) of 120 in years 7 -11; four form entry of 30 students within each.

Barton Court Grammar School lies close to the old city walls in the conservation area and World Heritage Site of St. Augustine's Abbey. It was the farm of the Abbey from its foundation in 605 AD ('Barton' stemming from 'bere tun' or 'barley enclosure'). The school is built around the lake in which the monks of the Abbey farmed fish. When Henry VIII destroyed the Abbey, he gave the farm to one of his faithful. Its lake remains and is a haven for wildlife, still teeming with fish despite visiting herons.


The gardens and grounds of the school contain many fine old trees, including the sixth Ginkgo to be introduced into the country from China (the first five were planted in Kew Gardens). Ginkgos are single-sexed, so Barton Court students grafted on a branch from another tree so now it produces fruit. The Science/Maths/English teaching block was designed around it.

Barton Court was still a farm until early in the 20th Century, approached up a long drive from New Dover Road. Much of its land then went to make way for housing and college developments. The manor house was pressed into use for teaching purposes during the Second World War, and in 1945 it became the Girls’ Technical School, with the boys being taught in the city hospital building nearby. The School became fully co-educational in 1991.

Old Photos

You'll note there is no longer a clock tower or lean-to attached to the old house.

 Barton Court circa 1920 Barton Court circa 1932  Barton Court circa 1940
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