A STUDENT following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and Michael Palin has won one of the UK's top essay competitions.

Rosie Parr, 18, from Nether Stowey, is a sixth former at Shrewsbury School, which both Darwin and Palin attended.

She has won the Gladstone Prize for classics, a competition administered by a group of top academics, which attracts entries from many of Britain's leading schools.

Her essay covered “Country life versus urban living in ancient Rome”.

She will receive £200 and her essay will be published in the next edition of the classics magazine, Omnibus.

This is the third time in recent months that Rosie's achievements have been recognised. Earlier this year she was commended in an essay competition for sixth formers run by Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and she was also awarded Shrewsbury School's Harvard Prize, which is presented to an outstanding pupil who combines excellence in scholarship with achievement in other fields.

Dr John Godwin, head of classics at Shrewsbury School, said: “Rosie is an exceptional student who has a love of the classics and a brilliant understanding of the subject. “However, she also contributes to many other areas of school life and she has thrived since joining our sixth form.”

After taking A levels in history, Latin and maths next summer, Rosie hopes to continue to study classics at Oxford University.