King James´s celebrated a landmark moment in its history on Thursday 24th March when a blue plaque was unveiled in honour of the school´s 400th anniversary.
The plaque was presented by Knaresborough Civic Society to commemorate the founding of the school with the following words:
"Founded in 1616 by Dr Robert Chaloner from Goldsborough, who was Rector of Amersham and a Canon of Windsor, the school was granted its Charter by King James I. The school was for boys only, ´as well poore as rich´, and was first situated in a private house near the Parish Church, then rebuilt on the same site in 1741. Four girls were first recorded as pupils in 1833. The school moved to the present site in 1901 and, from 1922 onwards, expanded steadily. It registered its own Coat of Arms in 1966. In 1971 it became a Comprehensive."
Alumni, students, staff, governors, the Mayor and Mayoress of Knaresborough and representatives from local community groups gathered at the school to mark the historic occasion.
The plaque was unveiled by the youngest current pupils at the school, Jack and Isobelle, and by the oldest former pupil, 102-year-old Denis Prest. Remarkably, between them they span 90 years of King James´s history - Denis joined the school in 1925, while Jack and Isobelle became pupils in September 2015.
After the ceremony, celebrations continued in the school hall where alumni enjoyed the opportunity to meet up with former classmates, share reminiscences and view a display of memorabilia. Headteacher Carl Sugden gave a short talk about the school´s history and showed visitors the original school charter and rules.
Please click here to view a gallery of photographs from the event. All photography: Chris Midgley