This miniature presents the most ephemeral of ephemera: a scrapbook of snippets cut out of junior boys exams by an unknown Don at Radley in the 1870s. Exams are the horror at the end of every teacher’s year. Object no. 9 Thank you letter, 2011, examined the history of formal exams and external qualifications. But the end of year test existed long before exams were subject to external scrutiny or led to nationally recognised standards. Back in the 1870s, a boy could remain in the same class for years before he passed an exam that allowed him to move up to another class. The teacher tasked with forcing an education into such a boy needed his own methods to retain his sanity. In Radley College Archives is a scrap book of cuttings from exam papers. Did the teachers who collected these feel they were banging their heads against a brick wall, or did they fall about howling with laughter in the Common Room as they added yet another gem to their collection? Here are some of the most sparkling moments as gathered together in Facetiae Radlienses e responsis per examinations factis extracta St Peter’s College 1869
In April 1770 Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown received £200 on account from Sir William Stonhouse of Radley Hall, Berkshire. In December that year Sir William paid another £200, with a further £200 on 3 April 1771. Brown later received a draft on Sir William’s bankers, Messrs Hoare & Co., dated June 9th 1773 for a final payment of £72, which he described in his Accounts Book as ‘a balance of the above account and in full [payment] of account demands.’ The account was then crossed through in the Accounts Book, which probably signifies that the work was completed, paid for and the contract closed. There can be no doubt, therefore, that Capability Brown was employed by Sir William Stonhouse to carry out landscape ‘improvements’ at Radley Hall over four years between 1770 and 1773, with the bulk of the work probably completed within the year April 1770 to April 1771. In the year in which the Tercentenary of the birth of England’s most significant landscape garden designer is being celebrated nationally, it is time to explore the story of Radley’s lost landscape: to examine what remains, discover how it was lost and found again, and, most significantly, to ask ‘What could you buy for £672 from Capability Brown’? Read on >>>
|This is a highly contentious carving. Not only does the word ‘servants’ evoke the class distinctions of the Edwardian era, but the very separation of this group of names on the War Memorial reinforces that separation in contemporary eyes. Yet when it was created it was as an act of deep reverence and honour. Radley is one of very few schools which included the serving staff on its War Memorial. At its dedication in 1924 it was part of the great democratisation in death which saw the creation of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission at the end of World War 1.
The whole debate of what form a War Memorial should take began at Radley as early as January 1917 and was not concluded for another 30 years. In that time the committee had resigned twice, the builders had failed their contract, the architect had died and another war had been fought. Utility or Sentiment? What is a War Memorial all about? … read on >>>
|This is a scrap of paper glued onto a piece of old cardboard, annotated in red and black ink. It is very easy to lose or discard it; extremely easy to overlook it. What it records can be passed by just as easily. Indeed, so used are we to the landscape around us, to the trees, the paths, the pitches that every golfer playing on Radley College Golf Course, every visitor for a school match, every dog-walker and every member of the College, has walked past this with barely a thought. Yet its purpose is grandiose, ambitious, permanent: a grove of eighteen oak trees each planted to commemorate that greatest of cricketing targets – to score a century in a school match. In thirty-seven years only thirteen boys achieved it. This is the planting plan for Century Clump. … The full story|