Princess Helena College

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Princess Helena College
Established 1820[1]
Headmistress Mrs Jo-Anne Duncan
President HRH The Duchess of Gloucester[1]
Location Hitchin
England Coordinates: 51°54′34″N 0°16′58″W / 51.90943°N 0.28291°W / 51.90943; -0.28291
Local authority Hertfordshire
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18
Houses Gloucester, Windsor and York

Princess Helena College is an independent school for girls in the small village of Preston near Hitchin in Hertfordshire, England. It is housed in a Grade II* listed Queen Anne country house, formerly known as Temple Dinsley, which was redesigned by Edwin Lutyens, at the same time as the gardens were designed by his great friend, Gertrude Jekyll.[2]


It was one of the first academic schools for girls, founded for daughters of officers who had served in the Napoleonic Wars and daughters of Anglican clergy in 1820 by Miss Sophia Williams. It was originally established in Mornington Crescent, London before moving to Regent's Park and then Ealing. The school moved to Temple Dinsley in 1935.[1] In 1874, Princess Helena, Queen Victoria's third daughter, became President of the College, and the school has enjoyed royal patronage ever since.

The school today[edit]

Princess Helena College is a member of the Girls' Schools Association and has both day and boarding pupils from the UK and overseas. The college has three types of boarder: Full Boarder (boarding 7 times a week), Weekly Boarder (boarding 4–5 times a week) and Flexible Boarder (boarding 1–3 nights a week). There is a strong house system and girls are in one of three houses, which compete for the annual Cockerel trophy:

  • Gloucester
  • Windsor
  • York

The school has lovely grounds surrounding it and is an all-girls school.


External links[edit]