"Combermere School is one of the oldest academic institutions in the Commonwealth. Its roots go back as far as the 17th century when public education had not yet become the norm even in Great Britain itself." - from Combermere School and the Barbadian Society.
Combermere School started its life in 1695 as a Free School as a result of an endowment of £2000 from the will of Colonel Henry Drax. It was built on Constitution Hill and was known as the Drax Parish School, the Colonial Charity School, the Parochial Charity School, the Free School, the Boys' Central School and then finally in 1880, Combermere School.
In 1133, Benedictine monks founded Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, England. This establishment flourished for over 400 years until King Henry VII turned out the Benedictines from Combermere Abbey in the 1540's. Shortly after, the Abbey became the Seat of Sir George Cotton KT, Vice Chamberlain to the household of Prince Edward, son of Henry VIII.
On becoming a peer in 1814, Sir Stapleton Cotton, a descendent of Sir George Cotton, took the title 'Lord Combermere' and in 1817, Sir Cotton became the Governor of Barbados. Sir Cotton became the patron of the Society for The Promotion of Christian Knowledge, and in 1819, he was the moving spirit behind the raising of £22,630 to erect a building and reorganise the old Free School, into the Boy's Central School.
In 1879, the Boy's Central School was reorganised and reconstituted as a second grade school. One year later, in 1880, the Boy's Central School was renamed Combermere School in honour of Lord Combermere, its benefactor.