School Archive

Welcome to the School's online archive which features highlights from our collection. It's not just dusty documents in the archive. Explore a range of photographs, articles, transcriptions and online exhibitions below, and find out more about the school since it started in 1880.

A brief history of Truro School

Truro Wesleyan Middle Class College opened its doors to 35 boys on 20 January 1880 in a chapel schoolroom in the centre of the town. The school quickly grew in size and the present site was bought in 1881 and opened the following year. In 1931 the name of the school was changed to Truro School, thought to be more suitable, and in 1934 it became a member of the Head Masters’ Conference after being granted public school status. The school became fully independent in 1977 when the Direct Grant Scheme ended.

The first steps towards co-education came in September 1976 when girls were admitted into the Sixth Form. The school became fully co-educational in 1990.

The school has continued to expand over the years. The Prep School, at the Treliske campus, opened in 1936 and the main school has continually expanded its numbers and facilities. In 1977 a new technology block and sports hall were opened.  An indoor swimming pool was opened in 1996, replacing the old 1950s open-air pool. The Burrell Theatre was opened in 2002 by Sir Tim Rice and includes six classrooms as well as a 250-seat theatre. The Sir Ben Ainslie Sports Centre opened in 2013, and the Cookery School in 2018.

Alumni include actors Robert Shaw, Nigel Terry and John Rhys Davies, opera singers Benjamin Luxon and Alan Opie, Roger Taylor of Queen, Olympic gold-medallist sailors Christopher Davies and Sir Ben Ainslie, journalist Ros Atkins, political scientist Professor Sir John Curtice, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and John Kendall Carpenter, England rugby captain in the 1950s, President of the RFU in 1980, President of the Schools RFU and chairman of the organising committee of the Rugby World Cup until his death in 1990. You can read more about our Alumni here.

School photographs: 1887, 1890, 1899, 1905, 1925 and 1933

Keep scrolling down to explore further

Early sports teams

Photo album c.1932

School Archive News

Getting in touch

Email [email protected] if you would like to find out more about the school’s archive.  Additionally, if you have any items connected to the school’s past looking for a new home we would love to hear from you.

The Truro School Identity

Our school motto, Esse Quam Videri (to be, rather than to seem to be), captures the essence of our identity and is defined by the 5 C's below. Underpinned by strong Christian principles, we are a caring and inclusive community which values, nurtures and develops each individual.

Click on the links below to find out more.