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Report - Carmel College - The Manor House - January 2015


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28DL Full Member
Carmel College was a predominantly Jewish co-educational boarding school in England operating between 1948 and 1997. It was first situated at Greenham Common near Newbury and then at Mongewell Park near Wallingford, Oxfordshire. It was Europe's only Jewish boarding school. It also had a very small number pupils who were not of Jewish descent, as day pupils. It was referred to as the "Jewish Eton" and Carmel College alumni were referred to as "Old Carmelis".

Typical boarding fees in 1996 were £10,000 per school term (i.e. £30,000 per year). The selection process was competitive and applicants were required to sit entrance exams as well as demonstrate the ability to contribute to the school ethos and uphold core school values. In 1990 it topped the list of the 20 most expensive boarding schools in the country

The school had a substantial number of international students from Europe and the Americas and an ethos of respect, diligence and social responsibility were instilled in students as part of the pastoral care provided by house masters and tutors.

The school practised a mainstream orthodox Judaism, more orthodox than the practice of most of the pupils' families. The aim was to turn out (where appropriate) Anglo-Jews who were authentically both English and Jewish.

Pupils who attended were generally upper / upper middle class or of a social standing that allowed private schooling.

The school was founded in 1948 by the late Kopul Rosen. In June 1997, the school was closed mainly owing to diminishing pupil numbers and financial difficulties, having been seriously affected by the termination of government assisted places by the Labour government. The grounds were sold to property developers for an undisclosed sum. The sale was overturned by the Charity Commission, however, following significant pressure from parents and former students who claimed the land was undersold. The distinctive concrete synagogue, dining hall, and amphitheatre, designed by local architect Thomas Hancock, are Grade II listed buildings; the Julius Gottlieb gallery and boathouse, designed by Sir Basil Spence, is Grade II* listed.

I happened to be passing, and decided ad hoc to pop in and take a look around, as I had heard rumours it was doable again. Only had my phone with me, so apologies for the poor quality of the photos.
Stuck in non-public for now, in case anyone else wants a bimble.
Bumped into Darbians and a couple of other lads there. Good to see you mate. :thumb















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