Christ’s Hospital Students In England Wear The Same Uniform Since 1556

Christ’s Hospital prides itself on maintaining traditions and the uniform, is of course, just one of the many fascinating aspects of Christ’s Hospital, with which it has been associated from its earliest days. The instantly recognizable uniform is possibly the oldest in existence and has hardly altered since Tudor times. It consists of a long blue coat, belted at the waist, worn with matching knee breaches, yellow socks and white neck bands. The girls wear the same uniform but with matching skirt. The uniform is provided to all pupils free of charge.

Christs Hospital students in England wear the same uniform since 1556

The uniform is one of the Schools most public and enduring features. It is remarkable that in this age of rapidly-changing fashions, the outer long blue coat and distinctive yellow socks of the uniform have remained virtually unchanged for over 460 years.

Christs Hospital students in England wear the same uniform since 1556

In recent years pupils have been given the opportunity to complete a survey to find out their opinions of their iconic Tudor uniform and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. The pupils see the uniform as a very important part of the School’s history and heritage.

Christs Hospital students in England wear the same uniform since 1556

When the School was founded over four and half centuries ago, the City of London gathered up fatherless and poor children and cared for them. Through the generosity of the citizens of London smart new clothes were provided for the children of Christ’s Hospital.

Christs Hospital students in England wear the same uniform since 1556

Christs Hospital students in England wear the same uniform since 1556

The early uniform was, in accord with Tudor style, very colorful. There has been much speculation as to why blue and yellow was chosen. It was thought that both these color dyes were not expensive, and blue and yellow could also have been chosen to distinguish the children within the care of Christ’s Hospital from those attending other schools. The linings of the coats were dyed yellow and their stocking were always knee length and also dyed yellow.

Christs Hospital students in England wear the same uniform since 1556

The buttons on the long bluer coat depict the head of the School’s Founder, King Edward VI and were introduced a little over 200 years ago. Large silver buttons and velvet cuffs are the mark of a Grecian (Sixth Form pupil) who, in his or her final year, has demonstrated outstanding academic performance in more than one subject.

If there has been one element of variety, it has been in the individual’s choice of footwear and for many of the pupils at Christ’s Hospital, Dr. Martens have since 1987 been the perfect accompaniment to the Tudor uniform.

Christs Hospital students in England wear the same uniform since 1556

Links: Christs-hospital.org.uk

Share This Page