A brief insight into the history
of Dulwich College…
In 1619, James I granted letters patent to the famous Shakespearean actor-manager, Edward Alleyn, authorising the establishment of a college in Dulwich “to endure and remain forever”.
Re-constituted by Parliament in the Dulwich College Act of 1857, Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift at Dulwich moved to the present site in 1866. The architect, Charles Barry, the son of Sir Charles Barry who designed the Houses of Parliament, was much criticised at the time for departing from the Gothic, but his “thirteenth-century North Italian Renaissance” architecture was revolutionary – no other building of this size had been decorated so extravagantly with terracotta.
The College has since been extended several times, but remains faithful to Barry’s masterpiece and continues to inspire the loyalty of its most famous sons. PG Wodehouse wrote from America, shortly before his death, “If I do come to England, the only place I really want to see is Dulwich”.