Two Cheltenham residents, G. S. Harcourt and J. S. Iredell, founded Cheltenham College in July 1841 to educate the sons of gentlemen. It originally opened in three houses along Bays Hill Terrace in the centre of the town. Cheltenham College is a co-educational independent school with approx. 640 pupils and is well known for its classical, military and sporting traditions.
Cheltenham's military past is recognised by the fact that it is one of only three schools in England (the others being Eton College, founded in 1440, and the Duke of York's Royal Military School, founded in 1803) to have its own military colours due to many former pupils who were killed during WW1 and WW2.
A number of notable alumni include: Edward Wilson (1872—1912), physician, polar explorer, natural historian, painter and ornithologist. Patrick White – Nobel Prize Winner. Rageh Omaar (1967—) ITV News correspondent and presenter, formerly with BBC News and Al Jazeera English.