Bishop's Stortford College

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Bishop's Stortford College
Established 1868
Type Independent Day & Boarding school
Headmaster Jeremy Gladwin
Location 10 Maze Green Road
Bishop's Stortford
CM23 2PJ
United Kingdom
Local authority Hertfordshire
Students 1146[1]
Gender Co-educational
Ages 4–18
Houses 10 (Senior)
4 (Junior)
Former pupils Old Stortfordians

Bishop's Stortford College is an independent, co-educational day and boarding school for pupils from the ages of four to eighteen, with a 130-acre (0.53 km2) campus located on the edge of Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. As an "all-through" school it is a member of both the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools.


Bishop's Stortford College was founded in 1868 by a group of prominent Nonconformists in East Anglia who wanted to establish a public school,

in which Evangelical Nonconformists might secure for their boys an effective and Christian education on terms that should not be beyond the reach of the middle class generally. It was built on an old school called Newbury which is one of the Junior Schools Houses.

They approached the Bishop's Stortford Collegiate School, a non-sectarian school founded in 1850, and acquired the school buildings, naming the new educational establishment as the Nonconformist Grammar School.

Two grammar schools in the town proved confusing so in 1901 the name was changed to the Bishop’s Stortford College and the association became instead a board of governors with nominees from the Baptist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches on the panel.

The school’s first headmaster was the Reverend Richard Alliott and its first pupils were 40 in number. Rev Alliott led the school for 31 years and his successor Francis Young was also in post for 31 years.

It is notable that the school only had five head teachers during its first one hundred years:

  • Rev Alliott (1868–99)
  • F S Young (1900–31)
  • H L Price (1932–43)
  • A N Evans (1944–57)
  • P W Rowe (1957–70)


  • G C Greetham (1971–84)
  • S G G Benson (1984–97)
  • John Trotman (1997—2011)
  • Jeremy Gladwin (2011– )

During its early years, the school built up a strong reputation in the sports field and swimming, and was one of the first schools in the country to have its own indoor heated pool, built in 1895.[citation needed] The Bishop's Stortford College Centenary Chronicle records:

The new bath, which cost something in the region of £5000, was an immense addition to the athletic life and the amenities of the school. Before it was built, swimming was possible only in the summer term, in the part of the River Stort near the cattle market that had been railed off as a town swimming pool; here such things as broken glass bottles would be found at times on the muddy bottom with grave danger to the bathers’ feet. Now, with a heated bath under cover, it was possible to bathe the whole year round, and the swimming standards of the boys improved greatly.

Under the headmastership of Francis Young, the school continued to grow in both size and reputation.[citation needed] Young commissioned many of the red brick school buildings designed in the arts and craft style by Herbert Ibberson (an Old Stortfordian with an architectural practice in Hunstanton), acquired the sports fields which occupy over 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land and, in 1902, took over an existing school for boys aged 7 to 13 years. The life of the Bishop's Stortford College Preparatory School began with just eight day pupils and eight boarders.

The Memorial Hall, Bishop's Stortford College’s most distinctive building, was designed in Georgian Colonial style by architect Clough Williams-Ellis who was known chiefly as creator of the Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales. The Memorial Hall was erected in 1922 to commemorate the 62 pupils who had lost their lives in the First World War. A second Roll of Honour was added in 1949, inscribed with the names of a further 154 former students who lost their lives in World War II.

In 1968 the school celebrated its centenary with a visit from the Queen Mother and in 1978 the first girls were admitted into its Sixth Form. The transition to full co-education throughout the school began in 1995 coinciding with the opening of a new Pre-Preparatory Department for both girls and boys aged 4 to 7 years.

Present day[edit]

Bishop's Stortford College caters for girls and boys from the age of 4 to 18 years within the 130-acre (0.53 km2) campus.

There are ten houses in total in the Senior School; Benson House (girls day), Alliot House (girls day), Trotman House (girls boarding), Young House (girls boarding), Tee House (girls day), Sutton House (boys day), Collett House (boys day), Hayward House (boys day), Rowe House (boys boarding), and Robert Pearce House (boys boarding).

The original school buildings are still in use. Accommodation for the Prep School, the Pre-Prep and extensions to the boarding facilities have been added. The Charles Edward Centre houses ICT, Physics and Design and Technology.

In 2006, a Science Action Centre was opened, housing over 40 interactive displays. The centre was a learning resource for pupils.

The Ferguson Building (opened 2007) was added to the school campus providing a lecture theatre, IT suite and Sixth Form Centre. The Ferguson Lectures were launched at the same time. These focus on contemporary issues and are open to the public.

The development project, which opened in Autumn 2013, saw the rebuild of approximately one-third of the Prep School.

On 29 September 2015, a fire broke out in Robert Pearce House and destroyed the 92-year-old building. All pupils were evacuated safely. Robert Pearce House reopened in January 2018.

In January 2016 the college donated no longer used secondhand text books to Edlumino, an organisation working to educate children in the refugee camps at Grande-Synthe and Calais.[2]

Notable Old Stortfordians[edit]

Notable teachers have included:


  1. ^ "College Profile". Introduction. Bishop's Stortford College. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2007.
  2. ^ "The College donates books to Edlumino Education Aid". Bishop Stortford College. Retrieved 26 February 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°52′12″N 00°09′07″E / 51.87000°N 0.15194°E / 51.87000; 0.15194