Located on the former London to Portsmouth Road, Woodcote House’s main school building was originally a Coaching Inn, almost certainly called The Pelican. It is believed that Snows Ride, off which the school is sited, was the favourite haunt of the infamous Captain Snow who, possibly in league with the innkeeper of The Pelican, made 18th century commuting extremely hazardous.
Following the battle of Waterloo, the building housed a small Gentlemen’s Academy, the purpose of which was to prepare around 20 young men for the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. In fact the school still has some toy muskets used for arms drill.
In 1854 a boys’ boarding school was founded. The Paterson family bought the school in 1931 and with the help of a significant bonus from the wartime government for “staying put” during the Blitz, the school was expanded. The school marked its 150th anniversary in 2004.
We may never know quite what dastardly deeds took place down in the school’s White Cellar in Captain Snow’s time… it is currently the haunt of the school’s Warhammer Club.