Godolphin and Latymer School

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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 Dr Frances Ramsey
Location Iffley Road
W6 0PG
51°29′43″N 0°13′48″W / 51.4953°N 0.2301°W / 51.4953; -0.2301Coordinates: 51°29′43″N 0°13′48″W / 51.4953°N 0.2301°W / 51.4953; -0.2301
Local authority Hammersmith and Fulham
Students 754
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18
Houses Bassi
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 school crest includes a double-headed white eagle, Godolphin in Cornish signifies a white eagle.[1]

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."[2]


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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]


The house system has six houses[6]:

  • Bassi - Laura Bassi - the first woman to earn a professorship in physics at a university, Bologna, 1732.
  • Lovelace - Ada Lovelace - an English mathematician and the first to publish a computer program in 1843.
  • Maathai - Wangari Maathai - an internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist and Nobel laureate.
  • Naidu - Sarojini Naidu - an Indian independence activist and poet.
  • Quinn-Brown - Hallie Quinn Brown - an African-American educator, writer and activist.
  • Sheppard - Kate Sheppard - the most prominent member of the women's suffrage movement in New Zealand.

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.[7]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hitchins, Fortescue; Drew, Samuel (1824). The History of Cornwall: From the Earliest Records and Traditions, to the Present Time, Volume 2. Penaluna. p. 110.
  2. ^ Profile on the Good Schools Guide
  3. ^ a b Marshall, Robin D. (June 2004). "Obituary: Winifred May Watkins (1924–2003)" (PDF). The Biochemist: 56–59.
  4. ^ The history of the school
  5. ^ "Saint John the Evangelist Church". London Gardens Online. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  6. ^ "G & L House Polo". Serious Stuff. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  7. ^ Pierce, David (1995). Yeats's Worlds: Ireland, England and the Poetic Imagination. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale. p. 310. ISBN 9780300063233.
  8. ^ "Sarah Alexander: Blonde ambition". The Independent. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  9. ^ Lewis, Roger (18 October 2007). "Carry On Hattie Jacques". The Daily Telegraph.

External links[edit]