House Competitions


The House system at the school has a long and proud tradition and is at the centre of the annual competition for the Cock House Cup.

The main aim of the wide range of competitions we offer at school, is to bring the 6 separate Houses together in friendly competition. We believe there is something for all students to get involved in and thus be able to represent their house.

Through the various House activities, students are able to play their part in the school community and showcase their talents in sport, creative arts, reading, chess and debating.

Our Heads of House and their respective House Captains and Vice-Captains work together to produce the teams to take part in the various events throughout the school year.

Our House Team

The History of the House System

The names of the Houses come from important people connected to the school – some are Old Boys. The House system started with four Houses in 1928. Hale House was added in 1930 and from September 2007 there is a sixth House, Kinman.

COWPER is named after Francis Thomas de Gray, 7th Earl Cowper. He was born in 1834 and was a descendant of Richard Hale. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the army and was chairman of Hertfordshire County Council between 1889 and 1901. He gave money for the improvements to the school in 1900, including buying the new Headmaster’s house.

CROFT is named after Admiral Richard Beynon.  He was born in 1843 and died at Fanhams Hall, Ware in 1912. He was a pupil at the school until the age of 15 when he joined the Royal Navy. He married Anne Page of the big malting family in Ware and ran that business for many years. He too gave money to the school improvements in 1900.

HALE is named after Richard Hale, the founder of the school.  He died in 1620, shortly after the school was opened. He made his fortune as a London trader and lived at Kings Walden, Bury. He paid for the building and left money in his will to keep it going for many years.

KINMAN is the newest House, formed in September 2007. It is named after Major George W Kinman MA, Headmaster of Hertford Grammar School 1905-1927, 21 years. Major Kinman was unusual for the time in that he encouraged extra-curricular activities and did not just focus on ‘bookwork’. He was responsible for re-instating the White Gloves Ceremony.

PAGE is named after Lieutenant Colonel Francis Page. He was born in 1880 and attended this school. He died during a battle in the First World War in 1917. As his body was never found, his name is carved on the Menin Gate in Ypres. He was Mayor of Hertford in 1912 and was well respected in the local area. A House was named after him as a memorial not just to him but to all the Old Boys of the school who lost their lives in the Great War.

WALLACE is named after Alfred Russell  Wallace.  He was born in 1823 and started in this school in 1828. He was later a pupil-teacher here from 1826 to 1837. He lived in St Andrews Street where the building is now called Wallace House after him. He went on expeditions to the Amazon Forest and Malaya, collecting vast quantities of insect and other scientific specimens. He was a friend of Charles Darwin and both had ideas about evolution which made them famous around the world.