|The outline of this
unusual building has become a symbol of the town. It was built as a
school house in 1614 by Robert Smyth. He was a poor boy who left
Harborough for London, "from my father's house with my cuppe empty", and
made his fortune! He gave strict instructions; it was to "stand upon
posts or columns over part of the market place to keep the market people
dry in time of foul weather" and certain specific texts were to be
printed on the lintels.
This building continued as a school until 1892
when a new school was built in Coventry Road, and later Smyth's School
was amalgamated with the new County Grammar School in 1909. The Old
Grammar School was completely restored in 1977 after a successful
fund-raising campaign, and now houses public events.