In 1693 a lease was obtained from the Trustees of Stand Gramar School and a chapel built on the plot of land now occupied by the existing chapel. The School was held in the chapel on weekdays.
The earliest known master of the school was Isaac Antrobus. In 1729 a separate room was built to be used for the school. William Walker died in 1770 after having been master of the school for 48 years. His predecessor as Master, a man named Watson, died in 1721.
Some of the boys were boarders and lodged with the school-master's father at the Old Hall. Until he was ten years old Robert Clive (Lord Clive of Plassey), was at the school during Walkerts headmastership. It is thought that he may have been a day boy and, about 1733, rode from Clifton each day. In that case he would ford the Irwell at Bradley Fold, where the brook from Mere Clough joins the Irwell. Alternatively he may have been a boarder at the Old Hall. At that time his uncle lived at Clifton Hall. Clive was the grandson of a trustee of Stand Chapel, Nathaniel Gaskell, who married Sarah, daughter of James Wilson of Poppythorn, Prestwich. Their elder daughter was Robert Clive's mother. Nathaniel Gaskell was the son of Daniel Gaskell, also a trustee of the Chapel and a Prestwich landowner. Nathaniel also worshipped at the Unitarian Chapel on the corner of Marble Street and Mosley Street, Manchester. William Gaskell, pastor of the Cross Street Chapel and husband of Mrs. Gaskell, the novelist, was a descendant of Nathaniel.
In 1769 John Pope, Minister of Blackley Chapel was headmaster. No scholars were taught free. The endowment was to provide a residence for the Master. Mr. Pope taught Greek, Latin, French, Geometry, Trigonometry, Algebra, English language, Pronunciation, Reading, Geography and History. The syllabus was , therefore, much wider than in the Public Schools of that time. He advertised that boys could be boarded at Mr. Walker's, the former Master; Mr. Bond's and also at the Old Hall where Mr. Pope lived. A writing master also attended the school.