History of Millfield Prep
The History of Edgarley from the Iron Age to the Twentieth Century
Edgarley was originally part of an iron-age settlement around Glastonbury Tor, then in post-Roman times the property of a local British chieftain who later gave way to Saxon invaders. In the late 7th century the land was granted to the Abbey by a Saxon chieftain, thereby becoming one of the so-called Glaston XII hides.
In the years immediately following the Dissolution in 1539 Edgarley belonged to the Crown but it subsequently passed through many hands before coming, in the 18th century, into the ownership of a Wells family, the Porches, who also owned Glastonbury Abbey for a number of years in the middle of the 19th century, hence the considerable amount of Abbey stonework to be found here, particularly the Summer House or ‘Hermitage’, as it was known in their day.
The Porch family was large, wealthy and influential for a time, enlarging the house considerably in the 1880s, but it suffered several setbacks around the turn of the century, which led to the estate being sold to the Thomas-Ferrands in 1915.
‘Boss’ Meyer founds MPS in 1945
Edgarley became the ‘Junior School’ for Millfield in 1945 when Jack Meyer, realising the need to accommodate increasing numbers of younger pupils arriving at his school in Street, bought the house and grounds from his friends the Thomas-Ferrands, who had seen their family home suffer from Army occupation during the war.
The school itself was initially very much a ‘crammer’, under the direction of Boss himself. By the late 60s, however, a much larger proportion of pupils, including increasing numbers of girls, were transferring to Millfield Senior instead of other public schools, and by the mid-80s numbers reached nearly 500, with a corresponding improvement and expansion in facilities.
The creation and incorporation of Abbey School and the development of MPS
Around this time a pre-prep school was started on the site of the old St Louis Convent school in Glastonbury, later re-locating to the Edgarley campus, where it now shares the extensive grounds and amenities such as a Recital Hall, a new Drama Hall and Sports Hall, an indoor Swimming Pool and an Equestrian Centre.
Like its senior counterpart, Edgarley has always stood by its founder’s ethos of attempting to discover and nurture whatever talent a young person has. It has gained an international reputation for sport and its success with dyslexic pupils, but it also achieves excellence in many other areas, not least music and the arts. Successful Edgarley Old Millfieldians include politician Ruth Kelly, cricketer and Chairman of Selectors David Graveney, photographic travel journalist Max Milligan, financier Roland Rudd and ex-rugby international Matt Perry.