Solefield History

Solefield School was founded in 1948 as a very small boarding school. The first Head flew a spitfire in the Battle of Britain. He and his wife lived at the top of the school (where the Art Studio is now) and taught, looked after all the pupils as well as cooking for them and marking out fields borrowed from the water board which were then where the houses on Fiennes Way now stand. Prior to this, the main building was originally a family house first owned by Henry Sowerby (1834-1919), who built the house c.1878. [1]

The school stands next to the site of the Battle of Solefield, which took place on 18th June 1450 when a rebellious army of over 5000 ‘rebels,’ led by Jack Cade, tried to overthrow Henry VI. “The refusal of the council to receive complaint was followed by a victory of the Kentishmen over the Royal forces at Sevenoaks" [2]. A plaque is situated at the end of Solefields Road to commemorate this battle.

Houses

When a boy begins at Solefield, they join one of four houses:

  • Marlowe - after the playwright, Christopher Marlowe
  • Stanhope – after the first Earl of Stanhope, General James Stanhope
  • Sackville – from the notable Sackville family
  • Wolfe – after British Army officer, Major General James Wolfe

Brothers at the school are allocated the same house.

Notable former students and staff

  • Douglas Booth, Actor/Model
  • Jerome Flynn, Actor
  • Alec Frank-Gemmill, Principal horn, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Simon Starling, Artist, Turner Prize winner
  • Andrew Gourlay, Conductor
  • Justine Lord, Actress

 


[1] Richard Sowerby, “Background of School House” Letter to Headmaster, 21st August 2002
[2] JR Green: A Short History of the English People, Published by Harper & Bros., NY, 1881.