Harrogate Ladies' College

Coordinates: 53°59′47″N 1°33′03″W / 53.996300°N 1.550970°W / 53.996300; -1.550970
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Harrogate Ladies' College
Clarence Drive

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Coordinates53°59′47″N 1°33′03″W / 53.996300°N 1.550970°W / 53.996300; -1.550970
TypePrivate day and boarding
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
PrincipalSylvia Brett[1]
GenderGirls; Boys (ages 2-11)
Age2 to 18

Harrogate Ladies' College is an independent boarding and day school located in the town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Founded as a girls' senior school in 1893, the college includes Highfield Prep School and educates girls from ages 2 to 18 and boys up to age 11. It is a member of the Girls' Schools Association and Allied Schools.


In the 1880s, the original Harrogate College was a boys' school. The need for a girls' school in the area soon became obvious and opened in 1893. Over the years, the newly opened girls' school flourished while the boys' school was eventually closed. In 1904, the girls' school moved into the present accommodation located across the street from St Wilfrid's Church.

From 1939 to 1945, the school was evacuated to Swinton Park, and after the Second World War moved back. Additional extensions that housed a library, a science block and a gymnasium were built later in the 1950s. Later, more buildings were constructed (a sports hall in the 1980s, an art room, and the Highfield Prep School). Gradually, houses on each side of Clarence Drive were acquired and were used as boarding houses. The pre-prep department, known as Bankfield, was opened in 1997, whilst the junior school, Highfield, opened in 1999.

Currently, the grounds, playing field, tennis courts, houses and gardens occupy about 28 acres (110,000 m2) of the Duchy Estate.[2]

The college now consists of three divisions: Highfield Pre-School (boys and girls aged 2–4), Highfield Prep (boys and girls aged 4–11) and the main school (day and boarding girls aged 11–18).

Pastoral Care[edit]

As a Christian school, pupils are encouraged to attend chapel services but the school accepts pupils of "all faiths or none". The school has links with the local parish church St Wilfrid's Church. A school chaplain oversees pastoral care and spiritual aspects of the school curriculum. The College has its own health and wellness centre.[3]

House System[edit]

Upon entry, pupils are placed into one of the four houses. Over the school year, the houses will compete in inter-house competitions.


The junior school houses are named after four of the Yorkshire Dales.


Senior School[edit]

The senior school houses are separate from boarding houses. They are named after prominent British female figures in history.



The school has a long boarding tradition and over half of senior school pupils are boarders. Full or flexible boarding is available to girls aged 10 and above. There are five boarding houses: Armaclare, Clarence, Lancaster, Lincoln, or Tower. The first four are situated in the heart of the campus. Tower House, which is similar to a university hall of residence and houses Upper Sixth girls, is located further away from the main school. Each house is overseen by a housemistress and full-time residential staff who look after boarders during after-school hours. The head of boarding is Laura Brookes.[6]

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "Harrogate Ladies' College Announces New Head".
  2. ^ History
  3. ^ Chapel
  4. ^ "Highfield - The House System". Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  5. ^ "HLC - The House System". Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  6. ^ Boarding
  7. ^ "Ella Pontefract – Dales Countryside Museum". Retrieved 11 November 2022.

External links[edit]