Queen Elizabeth Grammar School was built in 1586 to replace the chantry school at St. Leonard’s Church which was abolished in the Reformation. When it was built, there was no town of Middleton but a rural township with scattered buildings that spread across north Manchester as far as Bolton. Though one can find Grammar Schools of an earlier date than Middleton’s, we have yet to find an earlier one still with its original buildings. So we think this is the oldest surviving Grammar School in England. If we are wrong, please let us know!
The school had a link-up with Brazenose College, Oxford – students of the school could go onto the college. It was still in use in Victorian times and was the school attended by Edgar Wood – his initials in his characteristic script are scrawled on the walls in the building (something actually encouraged at the time).
The school now has several uses, including as a delightful venue for private receptions and parties.
The Old Grammar School is listed Outstanding Grade II* by English Heritage