Our anniversary is a great chance to celebrate the school, our town and the development of education. This book blends the three together to tell the story of how our school has grown into one that everyone in the area should be proud of. David Atkinson (Headteacher).

2024 marks the 400th anniversary of Dr Challoner's Grammar School (DCGS) which was founded in 1624. As this book illustrates, DCGS has kept true to the vision of its founder, Robert Chaloner, through offering an excellent education to local students.

The anniversary book documents the amazing history of DCGS. Dr Mark Fenton, the author, is a former Headmaster and historian. He has chronicled DCGS’s story with many interesting facts and events which brings our history to life. The 144 page hardback book is beautifully designed with some fascinating photographs and illustrations to complement the absorbing story of the school. This is a book for the whole DCGS community; alumni, current and future students, staff and of course members of the local community.

DCGS has played an important role in so many people’s lives and this book celebrates this.

How to purchase the book

If you are a parent you are able to purchase a copy of the book via your ParentPay account.

Please log in to ParentPay here

If you would like to pay by bank transfer, please complete the google form.

Bank Transfer Google form

If you would like to make a payment by credit/debit card, please ring the Development Office (01494 787570) between 9am and 3pm, Monday to Friday during term time.

In all cases, we will be in touch with you within 7 days to update you on the status of your order.


The book is excellent!

Huge congratulations to Mark Fenton and the team for the beautiful book on the First 400 Years of DCGS. It arrived this morning. I know our children will treasure it into adulthood, and will be able to reminisce about their time at Challoners and it’s history.

Thank you. Not only has my book arrived, the only class photo (1961), has me and several of my friends in it. Message from Australia

My son had his copy delivered; it's truly a historical treasure. Thank you.

Really interesting book and ours was delivered to our home in Florida! Learnt a lot about the history of the time and its effects on the school. Highly recommend!!

I have just received my anniversary book, so well packed and arrived in New Zealand this week. Congratulations to the author who has done a wonderful job on it. I can see a tremendous amount of research has been done. I was particularly interested in the history. My years were from 1953-59. My two older sisters were there in the previous 10 years and it was lovely to see familiar faces and names of the staff we all remember. Please pass on my congratulations for a wonderful job.

It was a joy to receive my copy of The First 400 Years. I wish that I had known more of this history when I was a student at Challoner's. Especially the influences of local and federal government on the directions the school took, and availability of facilities. Mark Fenton has done a wonderful job of condensing 400 years into a concise, easily read, tome. I have now read the book from cover to cover. It was nice to able to show my granddaughter that I am in one of the whole school photos. Many thanks to all who collaborated in creating the book, it would have been a mammoth task.

I have just finished reading your book on the history of Challoner’s and am writing to say how much I enjoyed it. Your thorough and indepth research must have taken you long hours of dedicated work, which has proved well worth while. It is a flowing account of the progression of the school and I have learned a great deal about the background politics and highs and lows of spearheading such development. A job very well done!