History Of Moulsford

Moulsford Preparatory School was founded in 1961, although the building had been used for educational purposes since 1931.

The main school building dates back to 1875, when it was was built by Mr Hawkins of Field, Hawkins & Ponking, then a department store opposite Wallingford Town Hall.

A few decades later, Miss Winifred E. Laurence grew up in Cranford House. In 1931, she started giving tuition to a little boy of six called Billy Higgs. He was soon joined by other children and a friend, Miss Tollit, was persuaded by Miss Laurence to teach the younger ones in the old nursery. The grounds were turned into rounders, football and cricket pitches, and a ‘fish pond’ was constructed with a platform built out into the river with a fence around it for swimming. Each year there was a huge Christmas tree in the front hall – a tradition that has been maintained to this day.


Pupils achieve high levels of knowledge, understanding and skills in curriculum subjects and extra-curricular activities. 

ISI Report 2013

By 1950, Cranford House (the current Moulsford Prep School site) was used only as a boarding house when the original school moved across the road. In 1961, Miss Laurence sold her home to Mr Mortimer and Mr Hale. They opened the building as Moulsford Preparatory School with 13 boys.

Mr Mortimer and Mr Hale were succeeded by Mr Dunkerley, and then Mr Rod Jarman, who continued to increase numbers until his retirement in 1994, by which time there were 165 boys in the school.

From 1994 to 2014, the school thrived under the outstanding leadership of Mr Mike Higham. As the numbers continued to expand to the current total of approximately 330 boys over his twenty year tenure, an extensive development programme was put in place to provide continuously improving facilities and accommodation for our pupils. These included a Theatre, Music School, Sports Hall, an Astro-turf all-weather pitch, new classrooms, three new Science Laboratories and two new ICT suites complete with the latest Apple Mac computers, a new Art Room and a large Design and Technology centre – all of which we continue to use and enjoy today.

Moulsford's Pre-Prep department was opened in 1997, and has evolved to take boys from Reception to Year 2; it is housed within the main school buildings.

Mr Ben Beardmore-Gray, the current Headmaster, took up his post upon the retirement of Mike Higham in 2014.

Sources: A History of Moulsford Village & The History of Cranford 1931 - 1996