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Quantock School History

Quantock Lodge Today

After the closure of Quantock School, a new controversy was to develop at Quantock Lodge. In the early summer of 2000, both Quantock Lodge and the village of Over Stowey became the focal point of a highly controversial debate between a charitable organisation and the local villagers over its suitability as a holding centre - or so-called "safe haven" - for asylum seekers from all corners of the globe.

This long-running and at times bitter saga see-sawed chaotically through the Summer of 2000, and even managed to make the pages of some of the more major press organs. Many saw the idea of making use of the former school and its facilities as a good opportunity to bring new life to the area and extra income which could have been used to help accelerate the restoration of the historic buildings; others, headed by a number of elders from the local community, argued otherwise. In the end and after much toing and froing, the local burghers were to win the day and the scheme was finally shelved in August 2000. The asylum centre story was covered in a number of articles, which are listed in the box to the right.

Restoration, Renovation and Remarketing

Quantock Lodge is now undergoing what is a very gradual yet thorough restoration. Mrs Peaster has already managed the restoration and decoration of the library, library annexe and the former "prep" room, all of which are have been painstakingly and lovingly restored and wonderfully furnished, and the old dovecote has been full restored and is now the home to Duncan Peaster, now a local Conservative Party councillor for the nearby town of Cannington (and looking a bit different from the Duncan many of us remember!)

Potential plans for the lodge include the potential hosting of banquets and conferences, while some of the rooms have more recently housed parties of holiday visitors. Many of the school's sports facilities, including the swimming pool, sports hall and sports field, have been made available to local people.

The response to Quantock Lodge as an activity centre has been more than positive, and the future is certainly bright - with a recent youth summer camp held there being given a glowing review in the mainstream press. Of course, in addition to all this the Lodge has also played host to the now annual Old Quantockian reunions, all of which have been a complete success.

The website for Quantock Lodge can be found here.


Wish they were there?

Guardian Unlimited article from April 2006 about the refreshed Quantock Lodge and a highly successful Summer Camp held there.