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Grammar schools

The Paston Grammar School, North Walsham

A free grammar school, founded by Sir William Paston, opened at North Walsham in 1605.

Although its last Paston family connection died out following the Civil War, the school continued to grow and a new schoolhouse was built in 1765.

Horatio Nelson and his brother William were admitted to the school as pupils in 1769.

For a history of the Paston School, see C R  Forder, A History of the Paston Grammar School (North Walsham, 1934). A copy is available on our searchroom shelves.

The school is now part of a sixth form college for the local area, formed by its merger with North Walsham High School for Girls in 1984.

Paston College maintains its own records. There are some records relating to the Paston Grammar School at the NRO, but these do not include records of individual pupils.

  • For records of the Paston Grammar School, see MC 20/1-47. These include: 
    • Governors’ order books and minutes, 1606-1975 (MC 20/1-5)
    • Title deeds and related documents, 1606-1902 (MC 20/5-12)
    • Treasurers’ accounts, 1746-1908 (MC 20/13-14)
  • For records of the Paston Grammar School and North Walsham High School, see MC 8 (see WD 1-132). These include: 
    • Governors’ minutes, 1873-1936 (WD 1-3)
    • Deeds relating to the school, including copies of the deed of grant by Sir Willliam Paston to establish the school, 1606 (WD 4)
    • Various accounts, including school fees, 17th to 20th centuries (WD 19-32)
    • There are also governors’ minutes, 1920-65, for North Walsham High School for Girls (WD 44-45)
  • For Paston School cash accounts, 1909-17, fee accounts, 1911-22 and 1933-39 and fee receipt accounts, 1916-25, see ACC 19/1/1979
  • For a drawing of the Paston School, 1781, by landscape gardener Humphry Repton, see FOS 437/1
  • For correspondence concerning the re-endowment scheme of the Paston School, 1948, see MC 201/53, 666X7