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Monoux Building from 1927

Monoux looks across the centuries

By Douglas Kennedy

Guardian, February 4th, 1977

What started out as the dream of a 16th century draper - and first saw light in a small Tudor building - this year blasts a fanfare for it's 450th birthday as one of Walthamstow's greatest institutions.

Whateever people living around the borough may say about Sir George Monoux Senior High School - and in the past there have been some heated debates - not many can honestly claim to have never heard of it.

Schoolboys may come and go, ideas in teaching methods change, but somehow to local people it seems that the traditions of Monoux willl last for ever.

The Monoux we know today is modern compared with it's namesakes in the High Street and by St. Mary's Church, but yet it seems to have been tucked away in Chingford Road for ages.

If ever there was a living history of education in our boroughit must be Monoux.

Because that is the school which has riden out the winds of change, and has left many stronger and bigger in it's wake.

Like manu other great institutions Monoux School started out as the ideal of one man.

George Monoux was born about 1460 and the family lived in the West Country.

Always a leader in the community young Monoux was bailiff and Lord Mayor of Bristol, before coming to London, where he was also Lord Mayor and an MP.

He owned a great deal of land in Bedfordshire, Edmonton and Chingford, as well as Walthamstow where his seat was Moones, a house which used to stand in Billet Road.

It was in 1527 that Monoux obtained the land in old Walthamstowthat he needed to build a grammar school and almshouses. But it is not known exactly what date the school was opened.

By 1541 we find Monoux making plans for the good running of the school after his death - which was on February 9th, 1544.