Cranborne Chase School

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Coordinates: 51°02′17″N 2°05′38″W / 51.038°N 2.094°W / 51.038; -2.094

Cranborne Chase School
New Wardour Castle 01.JPG
Established 6 August 1946 (Crichel House)
Closed 10 July 1990 (New Wardour Castle)
Type Independent school
Day and boarding school
Girls' school
Religion Church of England
Founder 'Betty' Galton
Location Wardour (near Tisbury)
Staff 26 (1985 figure)
Students 130 pupils (1985 figure)
Gender Girls
Ages 13–18
Publication Cranborne Chase School Magazine
Former pupils Old Cranbornians
Campus Rural campus

Cranborne Chase School was an independent boarding school for girls, originally opened in 1946 at Crichel House in the village of Moor Crichel in Dorset. In 1961, the school moved to New Wardour Castle near Tisbury in Wiltshire, and extensively renovated the building, which had fallen into a severe state of disrepair.[1]

In 1985 there were 130 girls, aged between 11 and 18 years, and 26 teachers at the school. The school eventually closed in July 1990.

Wardour facilities[edit]

At New Wardour Castle (not to be confused with Wardour Castle) there were dormitories for girls in the 1st to 4th Forms around the top fourth floor of the building, each with beds for between two and six girls. Fifth Formers slept on the mezzanine floor below this. The Lower Sixth Form had studios for one or two girls in a modern extension on the south-eastern side of the building. Upper Sixth formers all had their own individual rooms in the upper East Wing flat or in a separate building known as 'The Hexagon' ( The Hexagon was used as accommodation for staff in the late-1970s).

Pupils ate in the modern dining hall built on the south-eastern side of the building, next to the gymnasium. This extension had additional modern classrooms for Art and Science. All other classrooms were in the main building on the ground and first floors.

A student assembly was held most mornings around the rotunda staircase, with each year standing in groups between the columns. This usually included a short religious ceremony and singing accompaniment on the rotunda organ.

Other facilities included a school chapel and student laundry rooms. Each year had its own common room to relax in, when not in class.

Outside, there was an open-air swimming pool in the walled garden, six tennis courts and a running track, with space for field sports on the front lawn. There was also an enclosure for outdoor pets, which students were encouraged to keep.

In addition to the Hexagon building, there were three houses for staff and their families. These were built in the 1970s and were referred to as Melbury, LongAsh (Long Ash was used for 6th form students in the late-1970s) a grea and Burwood. Other staff lived in flats within the main building or else commuted from the surrounding area.

Other outdoor features included a bicycle shed, a water well, a temple folly, a Camellia house, and a sewage treatment works and an ice house.

Notable former pupils[edit]


Betty Galton, the founding headmistress of Cranborne Chase School died in December 2005.[7]

The 2009 movie, Tanner Hall, written and co-directed by alumna Tatiana von Furstenberg, was loosely based on her experiences as a pupil there.


  1. ^ Wardour Castle - History Archived 2014-03-03 at Publication: Retrieved: 3 March 2014.
  2. ^ Best days of their lives? Author: Amy McLellan. Publisher: The Independent. Published: 7 October 2004. Retrieved: 3 March 2014.
  3. ^ Back to School for Tatiana von Furstenberg and Francesca Gregorini Author: Daniel D'Addario. Publisher: The New York Observer. Published: 6 September 2011. Retrieved: 3 March 2014.
  4. ^ Liz Hodgkinson, Poisoned legacy of the Bloomsbury Set dated 23 May 2012 at, accessed 1 February 2017
  5. ^ Cranborne Chase School Register, 1967. Publisher: Cranborne Chase School. Published: Autumn 1967. Retrieved: 9 March 2014.
  6. ^ Carolyn Tipping obituary Publisher: The Guardian. Author: Evelyn Toner. Published: 9 March 2010. Retrieved: 3 March 2014.
  7. ^ The Bryanston Newsletter - Winter 2006 - Pg. 6 (bottom-right)[permanent dead link] Publisher: Bryanston School, Blandford Forum, Dorset. Published: Winter 2006. Retrieved: 4 March 2014.

External links[edit]