Our History

Wolverhampton Grammar School was founded in 1512 by Sir Stephen Jenyns. Born in Wolverhampton, Jenyns made a fortune in London, and was twice elected Master of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, one of the City’s great livery companies with whom the school still enjoys close relations.

As Lord Mayor of London he greeted the newly-crowned Henry VIII on the steps of old St Paul’s Cathedral, where the young King dismounted and knighted him. Amid his success, Jenyns remembered his modest beginnings and founded a “free school” in his home town for poor boys. Nearly 500 years later, the tiny school that he founded is now a large, successful coeducational independent secondary school with a national reputation, proud of its standing and place within the City of Wolverhampton but conscious that it provides opportunities to boys and girls from a wide catchment area, from Stafford and Cannock in the North to Stourbridge and Kinver in the South; from Walsall in the East to Shrewsbury, Telford and Bridgnorth in the West.

The school is mindful of its roots. When visitors or students walk into the school hall, known as Big School, they cannot help but be reminded of the school’s long tradition of scholarship: that tradition, emphasised by the stunning architecture, underpins everything we do.

The move to what was a ‘green field site’ on Compton Road in 1875 was indeed a fortunate one as we now find ourselves less than a mile from Wolverhampton’s city centre, yet with 23 acres of grounds that provide all the space we need for buildings, first-rate sports facilities and recreation.

WGS – a history of Wolverhampton’s Grammar School

This lavishly illustrated book traces the history of this remarkable school from its humble beginnings during the reign of Henry VIII, right up to the present day as WGS stands proud as one of the region’s leading co-educational independent schools.

The book which has been commissioned to commemorate the 500th anniversary, is available to order from the school – contact gail@wgs-sch.net. Cost: £25.00 plus £5 p+p.