A school existed by 1578 when the York visitation returns refer to a schoolmaster at Sandbach. In 1606 the parish register mentions a schoolmaster in the town. The grammar school proper was founded in about 1677 when Richard Lea of Sandbach gave a piece of land for a schoolhouse. Francis Welles d1695 and others paid for a schoolhouse. In 1718 a deed drew up regulations for management of the school and appointment of governors and master. 20 poor boys of Sandbach were to be taught. The offices of parish curate and second master were usually combined.
By 1816, the school, with 60 pupils, was sited at Egerton Lodge, Middlewich Road. In 1848, a private act of parliament was passed to administrate better the school's land. £140 was to be paid annually to the head and £60 to the second master. The school's buildings were replaced on the basis of designs by Gilbert Scott, in the early English style, from 1849. By 1890, the school had a laboratory, gymnasium and swimming bath.
Eligibility for Board of Education grants was acquired in 1909. The government decided in 1945 that the school would not retain its right to direct grants and the governors chose independence rather than become a local education authority school. In 1957, to alleviate the shortage of grammar school places in south-east Cheshire, the governors agreed with the LEA to provide 60 places for boys. In 1976, these were increased to 180. Admission was by residence, not ability.
The Sandbach Charities bought an estate near Burslem, Staffordshire in 1673 for £420 with an addition in 1682 for £80. Coal was eventually found under this land and mining commenced in 1814, much increasing the land's value.
In 1677 Sir John Crewe of Utkinton granted the school a rentcharge of land at Stych, Shropshire. At a date between 1718 and 1729, Charles Ward left £200 to the school. Three boys "Ward's Scholars" were to be taught to university entrance. £420 of the school's income was invested in land at Smallwood in 1731, paying for the master's salary. In 1827 an estate was acquired at Little Hassall for £8000.
J P Earwaker "History of Sandbach" 1890
S W Finn "History of Sandbach School" nd
W H Semper "History of Sandbach School 1677-1977" 1977
It is not known whether any earlier records exist. The surviving records forming this collection are known to have been out of the school's custody for a period in the twentieth century and were identified in the 1980s in London and subsequently returned to the school