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3 July

From the Archives: Oswald House

1984: Establishment of Oswald House

Growing day pupil numbers throughout the latter decades of the twentieth century had made King’s four existing dayboy houses unmanageably large.  Newly-arrived Headmaster John Moore (HM 1983-1998) therefore decided to form two new houses, to reduce individual dayboy house numbers from 80 to 50 pupils.  This had the two-fold advantage of easing the individual Housemasters’ workloads and responsibilities, while providing more opportunities for members of the school to reach positions of responsibility and make their mark within King’s community.  The 1984 issue of The Vigornian explained the names of the two new houses thus: ‘The new houses, following the previous pattern, will be called Kittermaster and Oswald after an ex-Headmaster and the other great Saint associated with the Cathedral.’

Oswald was named for St. Oswald, twelfth Bishop of Worcester, d.992.  Oswald, originally from Denmark, framed the Benedictine priory at Worcester, modelling it on that of Fleury in France, which he had studied on the spot; Worcester was one of 40 new monasteries founded in England in the reign of King Edgar (959-975).  He was consecrated as Bishop of Worcester in 961.  Oswald also became Archbishop of York in 972, but after his death he was buried in his small Cathedral of St. Mary at Worcester in 992.  His remains were later transferred to Wulfstan’s new Cathedral.

Oswald House welcomed M.A. Stevens as its first Housemaster in 1984.  Based initially in Fishermen’s Cottages, in 2000 Oswald was relocated to School House, and remains there to this day. The house tie is navy with red and white stripes.


St. Oswald, as depicted in a window in Worcester Cathedral Cloisters.

Reproduced by permission of the Chapter of Worcester Cathedral.