The building we are in has a rich and interesting history. The present 'Grammar' school was built in 1867. But before this, the school was a lot closer to the centre of Tamworth, in fact on the very site where Seams and Dreams stands today.
It is widely believed that it was Edgar the Peaceful, great-
Initially the building was rented, but in 1594 Sir John Bowes, Knight of Elford, and a member of the ancestral family of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, donated the building and the adjacent gardens to the town, to be 'a school forever'. In 1686 the school received a valuable asset from the estate of John Rawlett, who bequeathed his collection of 934 books. In effect the collection became Tamworth's first public library. The school sold the books by auction in 1932 and donated the money raised to Rawlett's charity. By the 1860s the old buildings were inadequate to cope with the swell of new students. A larger site was needed.
The history of our building
With many people having vested interests as to where the new location should be, an almighty row erupted, culminating in questions being asked in the House of Commons by Robert Peel, the 3rd Baronet and MP for Tamworth. Many people were to have their noses put out of joint, but a solution had to be found. Upper Gungate was known in those days as Stony Lane and the Fountain Junction was called 'The Hand'. On the eastern side of the junction was a field known as 'The Swan's Nest', the site that was finally agreed upon. It was completed and opened in 1868, and so began a new era in Tamworth's education for boys.
The original school was then demolished. However, part of it remains and is incorporated in the light coloured building you see today. On the original building you can see pillars on the front. The upper section of these pillars, narrow plaster bricks, together with a plaster emblem, were included in the replacement building. Look at Seams and Dreams, then slightly to the left, at the level of the first floor window sill. You will see the school emblem. The others then become obvious at the same level.
31 Lower Gungate, Tamworth B79 7AT 01827 61553
Copyright 2017 Seams and Dreams Limited
Thomas Guy was born born in 1644 in Southwark, South-
Thomas Guy was educated at Tamworth’s Free Grammar School, located where Seams and Dreams stands today. In 1660, at the age of 16, he was apprenticed to John Clark, a bookbinder in London. Completing his 8 year apprenticeship, he set up business as a bookseller and publisher, success and fortune soon followed. In 1677 Thomas paid for the refurbishment of Tamworth’s Free Grammar School. The Almshouses were built in 1678 opposite the Grammar School, at a cost of £200. He also funded the building of the Town Hall in 1701.
Thomas Guy was elected to Parliament in 1695 and served the town as MP until 1708. When the people of Tamworth failed to re-
Guy's hospital is today one of the largest London hospitals -