Bishop Gore School

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Bishop Gore School
Bishop Gore.DSC00499.JPG
Motto Virtue and good literature
Established 1682
Headteacher Helen Burgum
Location De La Beche Road
United Kingdom
51°36′55″N 3°59′18″W / 51.61525°N 3.98838°W / 51.61525; -3.98838Coordinates: 51°36′55″N 3°59′18″W / 51.61525°N 3.98838°W / 51.61525; -3.98838
Local authority Swansea
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses Rotherslade, Langland, Caswell, Limeslade, Bracelet
Colours Years 7–11 Maroon and Gold Years 12–13 Navy
Last Inspection May 2015
Pupils on Roll: 1780 Pupils
6th Form: 213 Pupils
Alumni Old Goreans

The Bishop Gore School (Welsh: Ysgol Esgob Gore) is a secondary school in Swansea in Wales, founded on 14 September 1682 by Hugh Gore (1613–1691), Bishop of Waterford and Lismore. It is situated in Sketty, close to Singleton Park and Swansea University. In December 2013 the school was ranked in the second highest of five bands by the Welsh Government, based on performance in exams, value added performance, disadvantaged pupils' performance, and attendance.


Grammar school[edit]

Established as a Free Grammar School, initially in Goat Street (a site now part of Princess Way in the city centre), for "the gratuitous instruction of twenty boys, sons of the most indigent burgesses, and in the event of a dissolution of the corporation, to sons of the poorest inhabitants of the town", it has since known several names and locations. In September 1853 the school moved, as the boys-only Swansea Grammar School, to Mount Pleasant into a new building designed by the architect Thomas Taylor. The building was extended in 1869 to a design by Benjamin Bucknall. The building was largely gutted by incendiary bombs during World War II although some of the 1869 building remains as part of the Swansea campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.[1][2]

After the war the school was moved to the Sketty area of Swansea where it subsequently became Bishop Gore Grammar school and briefly Bishop Gore Comprehensive School.[clarification needed] It has been on its current Sketty site since 1952 with a large extension built in the 1970s and further Design and Technology extensions in the 1990s.[citation needed]


Until 1970, Bishop Gore was an all-boys grammar school, then it merged with the girls' grammar school Glanmôr and Townhill Secondary School to become Bishop Gore Co-educational Comprehensive school in 1971.

School today[edit]

Currently Bishop Gore has around 1800 male and female students aged 11–18. The school has a sixth form with separate lounge, facilities and uniform. The headteacher is Helen Burgum (the school’s first female headteacher, appointed September 2017). Set at the head of Singleton Park, close to the village of Sketty and the seafront, Bishop Gore is built around two quadrangles. The red brick building has in the centre the second largest hall in Swansea, second only to the Brangwyn Hall.[citation needed] Each pupil is assigned to a house: Caswell, Langland, Bracelet, Rotherslade or Limeslade (named after beaches on the nearby Gower peninsular), which they retain throughout their time at the school. Highlights of the school year include the Eisteddfod, the inter-house sports tournaments, the productions by Bishop Gore Theatre Company, and the end-of-year balls for the senior students.

In January 2010, an inspection report was published which awarded Bishop Gore the highest possible grades in all categories. As a result of this the school was featured as a 'best practice' case study by Estyn and was named in the chief inspector's annual report – being the only secondary school in Wales to achieve this recognition.

Dylan Thomas[edit]

The most famous alumnus of Bishop Gore is almost certainly the poet, playwright and author Dylan Thomas (1914–1953). His father, David John (D. J.) Thomas was senior English master at the school, then known as Swansea Grammar School.[3] Not a distinguished pupil, he nonetheless gained attention through publishing his first poem in 1926, "The Song Of The Mischievous Dog" and in 1928 winning the school's annual one-mile race.[4][5] He left in 1931 to begin work at The South Wales Daily Post as a junior reporter.

Old Goreans[edit]

Notable Old Goreans have included:

International Rugby players[edit]

Several Old Goreans have played international rugby, for the Wales national rugby union team or the Wales women's national rugby union team

See also[edit]

  • The Kardomah Gang, 1930s Swansea literary and cultural circle, several members of which attended the school


  1. ^ Newman, John (1995), The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan, Penguin Books, pp. 108–109, ISBN 9780140710564 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Davies, Walford (2014). "Dylan Thomas". Welsh Biography Online. National Library of Wales. 
  4. ^ "Dylan's Swansea". City and County of Swansea. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Turner, Robin (26 June 2013). "A teenage Dylan Thomas 'was very athletic and loved running'". Wales Online. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  6. ^ Turner, Robin (14 January 2009). "Pupils see sixth-former fall from roof". Wales Online. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "HAYDN MAINWARING". Newport RFC. 
  8. ^ "QUEST TO FIND FIRST WOMEN'S TEAM FROM 1987". Welsh Rugby Union. Retrieved 18 September 2016. 

External links[edit]