Milham Ford School

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Milham Ford School
Marston Road site, Oxford Brookes University.JPG
View of the main building from Jack Straw's Lane
Harberton Mead

, ,
TypeCommunity school
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Department for Education URN123249 Tables

Milham Ford School was a girl's secondary school in Oxford, England, located in the suburb of New Marston on Marston Road.


The origins of the school started in the 1890s (probably 1893), when sisters Emma and Jane Moody started a private nursery school for boys and girls, located in their house in Iffley Road, east Oxford.[1]

By 1898, the school had moved to a cottage in Cowley Place, south from The Plain, on the River Cherwell close to Magdalen Bridge and Magdalen College School. The school was named after the Milham Ford across the river close to this location. The original Milham Ford was used to talke stone[clarification needed] during the building of Christ Church, Oxford, the largest college of Oxford University, to avoid damaging Magdalen Bridge. There was also a Milham Bridge here, but this was demolished during the English Civil War.[citation needed]

In 1904, the school was sold to the Church Education Corporation by Emma and Jane Moody.[1] The original cottage was enlarged in 1906.[2] It began as a private foundation but in 1923 was sold to the City of Oxford local education authority, which rapidly expanded it by adding huts as extra classrooms.[2]

In 1939, the school moved to new and larger premises on a 16-acre (6.5 ha) site between Harberton Mead (which was its address) and Marston Road, south of Jack Straw's Lane.[3][4] The original foundation stone from 1906 was moved to the new site in Marston. One of the huts was later dismantled re-erected in Cowley as a bandhall for the City of Oxford Silver Band.[5]

Milham Ford became a girls' grammar school in 1944 and a girls' comprehensive school in 1974. The school was closed in 2003 and was sold.[6]

Noted trade unionist Frances O'Grady (born 1959) is an alumna of the school. Joyce M. Bennett, the first Englishwoman to be ordained a priest in the Anglican Communion, was a pupil here.[7]

Mary Roper Price was headmistress of the school from 1949 to 1966.[1][8] Winifred Laws was headmistress from 1966 to 1978.[1]

Current use[edit]

The school was sold in 2003 and the School of Health Care and Social Science of Oxford Brookes University started to use the building in 2004.[4][9] This became the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences of the university.[10] The green area in front of the school is now Milham Ford Nature Park.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "The History of Milham Ford School, Oxford" (PDF). UK: Headington. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b Crossley, Alan; Elrington, C.R. (eds.); Chance, Eleanor; Colvin, Christina; Cooper, Janet; Day, C.J.; Hassall, T.G.; Selwyn, Nesta (1979). A History of the County of Oxford, Volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 442–462.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Jack Straw's Lane Archived 2010-07-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b Cox, Marilyn. "Milham Ford School infosite". Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Band History". Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  6. ^ Brookes finalises deal for Milham Ford School Archived 2010-02-07 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 29 July 2014.
  7. ^ "The Rev Joyce Bennett obituary The Guardian". The Guardian. 26 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Head's legacy still benefits school". Oxford Mail. 10 January 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Marston Road infosite". Oxford Brookes University. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Marston Road infosite". Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  11. ^ Cox, Marilyn. "History of Milham Ford Nature Park". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′43″N 1°13′58″W / 51.76194°N 1.23278°W / 51.76194; -1.23278