Powell House

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Powell House
Sedbergh School
LA10 5RZ
Tel: +44 (0)1539 244028

Housemaster: Mr Rupert Follett (hsmpowell@sedberghschool.org)

Deputy Housemaster: Mr T M Robinson

Assistant Housemistress: Mrs J Hayward

Resident Tutors: Mr L J Smith & Mr L E Higham

House Tutors: Dr A M McMeechan, Mr D Seddon – Roberts, Mr S Mulholland

Emblem: The Chameleon

Colours: Pink

Powell House 1
Powell House

Powell House - Brief History

Powell House was developed from what had been the Masters’ Hostel which was built in 1893 to house bachelor masters to save them having to find lodgings in the town. During the First World War pupil numbers grew to such an extent that the provision of a new House had to be planned and so the Masters’ Hostel was converted and extended into what we now know as Powell House, occupied by boys for the first time in 1916. It is named after one of Sedbergh’s famous Old Boys and one of its greatest benefactors, Sir Francis Sharp Powell whose generosity paid for the many of the Schools buildings. His portrait hangs in Powell Hall, which is also named after him. To begin with Powell could not field teams of its own so joined with the other new house, Winder, to form a team known as the “United Houses”.

The first Housemaster was Mr WF Henning. The Sedberghian for June 1916 records “The Hostel is no more … from its ruins arise our seventh House, called Powell. There under the aegis of Mr Henning with a small leaven of seniors, some dozen newcomers are finding life a very pleasant affair.”

Housemaster and family

Rupert joined Sedbergh as Head of History in September 2017. Prior to his arrival at Sedbergh, he spent 5 years teaching History and Politics at Charterhouse.

Teaching is Rupert’s second career. His first was as an Infantry Officer in the British Army. His 16 years’ military service included operational tours in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.

During his time at Sedbergh, Rupert has had a wide and varied portfolio of interests and activities. He is heavily involved in the Combined Cadet Force and the Duke of Edinburgh’s award programme and the delivery of the annual Year 11 tour to the World War One Battlefields of France and Belgium.

He also coaches Cricket and Fives. Rupert and his wife, Kath, who teaches at Casterton, Sedbergh Prep School have three teenage children; Sam, Hannah and Toby. Their golden retriever completes the family.

Famous Alumni

Professor Sir Christopher Booth, (1937 – 42) , starting as a researcher in digestive diseases, Chris Booth became an influential professor of medicine at London’s Royal Postgraduate Medical School, and then director of the Clinical Research Centre at Northwick Park Hospital.

Leonard Boden, FRSA, (1925 – 28) , portrait painter, during his career painted Baroness Thatcher, Pope Pius XII, HRH the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh as well as other members of the royal family. Was described as ‘one of the most notable British portrait painters of his time’.

Andrew Ratcliffe, (1962 – 65), Andrew Ratcliffe is a figurative painter, predominantly concerned with painting and drawing the figure from life. He has exhibited extensively in Britain and abroad including the National Portrait Gallery and has been a John Moores prizewinner. The first commissioned work he did was of the Prince of Wales, and he has done several more of him over the years.

Simon Beaufoy, (1983 – 85), screen writer, his best known works are perhaps the Full Monty and Slum Dog millionaire for which he won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as winning a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award.

The Rt. Hon. Sir Richard McCombe (Lord Justice McCombe) (1966 - 70)


We want your boys to seize opportunities. To try, sometimes to fail, but ultimately to discover a passion. Powell House is a house made up of boys of many talents. Some talents boys will arrive with, some they will develop and some they will discover. We are keen to foster a diverse and tolerant community for whom the idea of education extends beyond the classroom and into the normal pattern of their daily lives. Boys are expected to contribute to the cultural richness of the House. Co-curricular endeavour is, however, regarded as a complement, rather than an alternative, to full participation in scholarly activities.

We aim to create an atmosphere which is homely yet purposeful. We want them to develop friendships for the rest of their lives and to have a deep sense of moral values and service. There is a sense of brotherhood in the house. Understanding that kindness and respect for others are the basic building blocks of communal living, is central to the ethos and values of Powell House.