Godolphin and Latymer School

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This article is about the school for girls in London. For the school for girls in Salisbury, see Godolphin School.
Godolphin and Latymer School
Godolphin and Latymer School - geograph.org.uk - 1496849.jpg
Motto Francha Leale Toge (Free and Loyal Art Thou)
Established 1861 as a boys' school; re-established 1905 as a girls' school
Type Independent day school
Head Mistress Ruth Mercer
Location Iffley Road
W6 0PG
England Coordinates: 51°29′43″N 0°13′48″W / 51.4953°N 0.2301°W / 51.4953; -0.2301
Local authority Hammersmith and Fulham
DfE number 205/6291
Students 754
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18
Former pupils Old Dolphins
Website Godolphin and Latymer School
The former church of St. John the Evangelist by William Butterfield now forms part of the school

The Godolphin and Latymer School is an independent day school for girls in Hammersmith, West London.

The school motto is an ancient Cornish phrase, Francha Leale Toge, which translates as "free and loyal art thou".

The Good Schools Guide called the school a "Very strong academic school with a friendly atmosphere, an outstanding head and a broad range of extra-curricular activities."[1]


It was built in 1861 as the Godolphin School, a boarding establishment for boys, set in fields near the River Thames at Hammersmith in West London. In 1905 it became an independent day school for girls, associated with the Latymer Foundation and taking the name of the Godolphin and Latymer School.

From 1906 onwards it received grants from the London County Council and the Local Education Authority for equipment, library books and buildings. In 1939 the whole school was evacuated from London with no forward planning for where the school would stay.[2] In 1951 the school became a state Voluntary aided school under the Education Act 1944, and ceased to charge fees to pupils. After the abolition of the scheme, the school chose to revert to full independent status in 1977 rather than join the state system and turn comprehensive and resumed the charging of fees to pupils.[3]

The Godolphin and Latymer School celebrated its centenary in May 2005 with a service at St. Paul's Cathedral. In the same year the nearby church of St. John the Evangelist, designed by William Butterfield and built in the late 1850s, was closed and acquired by the School on a 125-year lease. It has been converted into the Bishop Arts Centre, named after Dame Joyce Bishop, who was headmistress between 1935 and 1963.[4]


For normal everyday wear all girls must wear a red and white striped blouse, a grey jumper and a pleated skirt (maximum length 5cm above the knee, or the width of an Oyster card). Black leather shoes must be worn with either white socks or black or grey tights and no jewellery (unless for religious reasons) or make-up can be worn. Any kind or colour of coat can be worn as long as it is not fur.

During Physical Education lessons at the school girls must wear a red t-shirt, a black and red hoodie and a skort. In the winter girls may choose to wear the thermal baselayers. Girls wear longer, red socks for hockey lessons and shorter white ones (provided by their carers) for netball, rounders and tennis. Normally trainers are worn but during hockey lessons girls must bring astro shoes, shin pads and mouthguards are strongly advised. For safety reasons, hats and gloves are not allowed in sport lessons.

Notable alumni[edit]

The poet W. B. Yeats was a pupil at the Godolphin School, before it became a girls' school, between 1877 and 1881.[5]

Notable former pupils of the girls' school, known as Old Dolphins, include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Profile on the Good Schools Guide
  2. ^ a b Marshall, Robin D. (June 2004). "Obituary: Winifred May Watkins (1924–2003)" (PDF). The Biochemist: 56–59. 
  3. ^ The history of the school
  4. ^ "Saint John the Evangelist Church". London Gardens Online. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Pierce, David (1995). Yeats's Worlds: Ireland, England and the Poetic Imagination. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale. p. 310. ISBN 9780300063233. 
  6. ^ "Sarah Alexander: Blonde ambition". The Independent. 2005-11-09. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  7. ^ Lewis, Roger (2007-10-18). "Carry on Hattie Jacques". The Daily Telegraph. 

External links[edit]