When pupils join Ewell Castle School, they are put into one of three Houses; Castlemaine, Essex and Raleigh and there are regular House and inter-House activities and competitions. A pupil transferring from the Preparatory School will remain in the same House, as will siblings. House competition is principally of a sporting nature; however Chess, Music, Drama and Debating currently flourish.House meetings are held fortnightly. All members of teaching staff are assigned to a House and offer support to the Head of House with House activities and pupils are expected to support their Head of House and House Captain in an appropriate fashion.
The Head of Raleigh House is Mrs E Harrison, the House colour is green.
The Head of Castlemaine House is Mr R Nugteren, the House colour is orange.
The Head of Essex House is Miss E Walford, the House colour is purple.
Ewell Castle School Houses – The Inspiration
Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) English explorer, soldier and writer.
Before serving in the Huguenot army in France he studied at Oxford, and became a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I after serving in her army in Ireland. He was knighted in 1585, and within two years became captain of the queen's guard. Between 1584 and 1589 he established a colony near Roanoke Island, which he named Virginia.In 1588 he took part in the victory over the Spanish Armada. He led other raids against Spanish possessions and returned with much booty. However, Raleigh forfeited Elizabeth's favour by his courtship of and subsequent marriage to one of her maids-of-honour, Bessy Throckmorton.He led an abortive expedition to Guiana to search for El Dorado and helped to introduce the potato plant and tobacco use in England and Ireland.Elizabeth's successor, James I, distrusted and feared Raleigh, charged him with treason and condemned him to death, but commuted the sentence to imprisonment in the Tower (1603). There Raleigh lived with his wife and servants, and wrote his History of the World (1614). He was released in 1616 to search for gold in South America. Against the king's undertaking to the Spanish, he invaded and pillaged Spanish territory, was forced to return to England without booty, and was arrested on the orders of the king. His original death sentence for treason was invoked, and he was executed at Westminster.
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1566-1601) Soldier, courtier and favourite of Elizabeth I.
Handsome, witty, arrogant and ambitious, Robert Devereux was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I.Their relationship has been seen as romantic, but Queen Elizabeth was 34 years older than Devereux.In 1590, he incurred the Queen's severest displeasure by marrying Frances, the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham, but she forgave him and accepted him back at court. Essex was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland - a post in which he failed dismally. In 1599 the Earl of Essex travelled to Ireland with over 17,000 English troops. Many of the English troops died of various diseases and the Earl of Essex agreed an unauthorised truce with O'Neill, the leader of the Irish rebels. His relationship with the Queen deteriorated and he lead a rebellion against Elizabeth and attempted to seize control of the City of London on February 8th 1601. Arrested and convicted of treason, Essex was executed at the Tower of London on February 25, 1601.
Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland (1654-1709), Countess of Castlemaine.
Barbara Palmer was the most notorious and powerful of the many mistresses of King Charles II of England.She had five children by the King, all of whom were acknowledged and subsequently ennobled. Her influence was so great that she has been referred to as "The Uncrowned Queen.Her extravagance, foul temper and promiscuity provoked diarist John Evelyn into describing her as the "curse of the nation", whereas Samuel Pepys often noted seeing her, admiringly.By 1662, Barbara, the King's mistress, had more influence at the court than his queen consort, Catherine of Braganza.In June 1670 Charles created her Baroness Nonsuch (as she was the owner of Nonsuch Palace).She was made Countess of Castlemaine and Duchess of Cleveland in her own right.As the result of the 1673 Test Act, which essentially banned Catholics from holding office, Barbara lost her position as Lady of the Bedchamber, and the King cast her aside completely from her position as a mistress, and advised Barbara to live quietly and cause no scandal.She died in 1709 at the age 68 after suffering from as edema of the legs, with congestive heart failure.