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Head's House



Andrew Chappell studied Biology at Durham University where he developed his passion for the science of life. He arrived at Lancing in 2003 after cutting his teeth at Brentwood School. He has been Housemaster of Head’s since 2008. His interests include all matters connected with life science, graphic illustration, the works of J S Bach and cricket.

Who are we and what do we do?

With space for 75 boys, Head’s is – by a short distance - the largest house in the school. First occupied in 1857 as the Head Master’s boarding house with a dozen occupants, it has since been converted into generous accommodation for day boys. Its aim is to provide everything that the day boys could need to take full advantage of the richness of boarding school life. The younger boys have their own alley (desk) in Head’s; Sixth Formers have individual pitts (rooms), as well as access to communal facilities such as common rooms and showers.

Head’s boys are unashamedly ambitious and show strength in all areas of the academic and co-curricular life of the school, but that is not to say that we are in any way elitist: non-polymaths are encouraged and nurtured in the same vein. Being proximal to the Dining Hall and the sports fields, we have a tradition of attracting those with healthy appetites. This is less true in a gastric sense than in the fields of sport, drama and music. We are strongly competitive in senior football and cricket, and in junior hockey and athletics. School drama productions are stuffed to the aisles with Head’s boys, who are complemented by a talented and eclectic mixture of musicians. Above all, we are sociable, caring and friendly community where humour, tolerance, excellence and liveliness of mind are nurtured and celebrated – I thoroughly recommend it to you.
AMC iii.2015

Click here for Transport Information for Day pupils.

The House photograph above has been reproduced by kind permission of Gillman & Soame photographers and can be re-ordered by visiting or telephone 01869 328200  

Who’s Who

Position Name Subject
Housemaster Mr A M Chappell Biology
Assistant Housemaster - -
House Tutors: Mrs H M Robinson Chemistry
  Mrs C E Palmer History
  Dr M S W Palmer Modern Foreign Languages
  Mr A W T Pratt Economics
  Mrs R M Webber Biology
Matron Mrs Pat Martyn-Smith  


 Head's House: From the Archives...


The Head Master’s House was opened on July 15 1857 by the Founder, Nathaniel Woodard.

Forming the south wing of the Lower Quad, it was the first building on the site to be occupied. The upper two floors were dormitories and in the attics lived house tutors, matrons and domestic staff, including the butler.

The Head Master was nominally the Housemaster until 1929 and occupied the whole of the building above the present Head Master’s Office. There were always resident bachelor house tutors and from 1898 they were, in effect, Housemasters; but successive Head Masters and their families were closely involved in the life of the House, as well as living and entertaining there in some style. This particularly applies to Dr Sanderson and Canon Bowlby and their families.

Several of the house tutors went on to distinguished careers at Lancing and elsewhere. Among them were Adam Fox (see Field’s), J F Roxburgh (see Sanderson’s), E B Gordon (see Second’s) and W B (Dick) Harris, later Headmaster of St Ronan’s Prep School. Basil Handford (see Handford House) was the first to be Housemaster from 1928 until his marriage in 1931. Since then there have been only seven, including Christopher (‘Duck’) Walker, Sam Jagger, who ran the squash with great success, Terry Kermode, Ron Balaam, Jeremy Tomlinson and Adrian Arnold. While other parts of the school were being constructed, parts of Head’s were used as Chapel, Dining Hall and classrooms.

When a new house was built for the Head Master (see Teme House), a flat was created on the first floor of Head’s for the Housemaster. The boys’ House was gradually expanded with a wing of studies being built on and others developed within the House in the 1970s and 80s. Although it worked well as a boarding House, when day numbers increased Head’s was an obvious choice to become the first boys’ day House in 2002, being at the front of the school and impossible to adapt to modern residential requirements. The novelist Evelyn Waugh wrote about his experience as a boy in Head’s in the early 1920s. Other well known alumni of the House include the tenor Sir Peter Pears, the historian Sir Roger Fulford, the artist Frederick Gore, the Arctic explorer Gino Watkins, Judge Peter Birts and the footballer Andrew Frampton.

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