Cranbrook School Rotunda

Cranbrook School

Cranbrook School is an independent, day and boarding school for boys, located in Bellevue Hill and Rose Bay, both eastern suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

On Saturday, November 20 2006 the Cranbrook Rotunda was officially renamed the John Saunders Pavilion after an old boy Mr John Saunders A.O. (1922-1997) 
The Rotunda was carefully and painstakingly restored in keeping with the original building designed by the famous architect Mr Horbury Hunt in 1875. This was made possible by the generous support of the Saunders family.
The Rotunda was designed for the Hon. James White as a tennis pavilion and although the date is uncertain, it was around 1880 and moved to its present location in 1918.The building is a one storey timber construction except for concrete steps and supporting brick walls and piers.The steel pipe supporting awnings, servery shutters and the concrete steps were added about 1960 when the rotunda was equipped as a tuckshop.The intricate detailing of the external timber cladding and the “umbrella” roof structure of the central section are amongst the best examples of Horbury Hunt’s mastery of design in timber. The building is painted internally and externally.The present day use of the Rotunda as a venue for entertaining following cricket, rugby and athletics echoes its historic use. It was classified by the National Trust in 1975

Founded in 1918 with the Reverend Frederick Thomas Perkins as the first headmaster, Cranbrook has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1,300 students from Pre-school (4 years old) to Year 12 (18 years old), including 97 boarders from Years 7 to 12.The school is affiliated with the International Coalition of Boys’ Schools, the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA), the Australian Boarding Schools’ Association (ABSA), the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference,and is a founding member of the Combined Associated Schools (CAS).

On 1 December 1917, the former private home and vice-regal residence, Cranbrook, was bought at auction by an agent for Samuel Hordern. He was the main financial benefactor of a group of businessmen and churchmen aiming to establish an Anglican boys’ school in the Eastern Suburbs. From December 1917 to June 1918, a provisional committee of twelve, comprising the founders and six additional men, prepared for the opening of the new school. They held meetings, ensured building renovations were completed, drew up the first articles of association and appointed the first Headmaster, Rev. F T Perkins. On 6 June 1918, the provisional committee reformed itself as the first council of Cranbrook School and organised the official opening of the school for 22 July 1918.

From the time of its foundation in 1918, Cranbrook School established a tradition of high teaching standards, a comprehensive curriculum and an acknowledgement of the importance of boys’ physical and social development and giving individual attention to every boy. As well, boys were expected to contribute their spirit toward the community through participation in social service. Cranbrook also has a strong history of sporting and academic success.