The number of photographs of CH in the collection runs into thousands. Some of the most important ones show views that no longer exist, such as at Newgate Street, London and at Hertford, and pictures of the building work at Horsham for the creation of the new school that opened in 1902. The earliest photograph of a pupil, William Hill, is dated 1857.

There are many pictures of pupils, more especially of groups of senior pupils, from Victorian days through well into the 20th century. The museum has at least one box of photographs related to each of the sixteen houses at Horsham, most of which are annual group photographs although some show sports’ teams or other house activities.

There are whole school photographs (especially of the boys) from 1919, many, however lacking a key, a recurring problem throughout the collection which contains many unidentified pictures.  It is surprising that significant events, such as Speech Days, are generally not well documented.

Many of the most interesting pictures date back to the 19th century and to the first few decades of the next.  Two fine albums of photographs record the last years of the London school. The collection of photographs has many images which capture the spirit of the age in a way which words cannot do. These come to life when viewed in context, such as in scrap books where the subjects are identified.

Two collections of CH photographs were published, in 1985 and in 1990, in a series called The Christ’s Hospital Papers.  Three of the booklets in the current CH Heritage Series, Memorabilia, Customs and Traditions and School Life include many photographs as illustrations.

The image on the left is of Dinner Parade outside the Great Hall in London, with the band in the foreground and St Sepulchres Church in the background on the left.