The Old Grammar School, Market Harborough

The pretty town of Market Harborough boasts an iconic wooden building next to its main parish church, St Dionysius’. You might describe it as Tudor style, but it was constructed by one Robert Smyth in 1614, well after the last Tudor. It’s called the Old Grammar School and is now used for community meetings upstairs, and a craft market downstairs (Smyth’s intention being to ‘keep the market people dry in time of foul weather’ as well as providing for the education of the town’s children). The other remarkable features, other than its age, is the adornment of scripture verses, painted in gold, around each of its four sides:

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: Ps 127:1

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph. 2:8-9

For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Sam. 16:7

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Psalm 122:1

Robert Smyth, though dead, is quite the evangelist. Those two aggressively secular worlds- education and commerce- are here beautifully encompassed by God’s word.