Moreton Hall School

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This article is about the independent school in Shropshire. For the listed building, see Moreton Hall.
Moreton Hall
Established 1913
Type Independent day and boarding school
Principal J. Forster M.A., FRSA[1]
Vice Principal C. Tilley, GRNCM, PPRNCM
Chairman of Governing Body Mrs. J. G. France-Hayhurst, LLB Hons (Barrister-at-Law)
Founder Ellen Lloyd-Williams
Location Weston Rhyn
SY11 3EW
Coordinates: 52°54′50″N 3°02′55″W / 52.914008°N 3.048637°W / 52.914008; -3.048637
Local authority Shropshire
DfE number 893/6005
DfE URN 123604 Tables
Staff 70~
Students 460~
Gender Girls (3–18), Boys (4-11)
Ages 3–18
Colours Blue     
Former pupils Old Moretonians
School Song Gaude Plebs Redemptionis

Moreton Hall is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 3 to 18 and boys aged 3 to 11 years, situated in North Shropshire four miles from the historic market town of Oswestry.[2] Founded in 1913, Moreton Hall celebrates its centenary in 2012/13. Much of the early history of the school is unrecorded, but Michael Charlesworth,[3][4] chairman of the Governors for twelve years, has written the "Story of Moreton Hall"[5] to mark the ninetieth anniversary.



Ellen Augusta Crawley Lloyd-Williams[6] was left with a family of two sons and nine daughters to care for on the death of her husband, John Jordan Lloyd-Williams, who had been headmaster of Oswestry School.[7] She had already addressed the problem of educating her family by setting up a small school in 1913, in Lloran house, which was once a boarding house for Oswestry School. Among the boarders were her three youngest daughters, some of their cousins and friends. There were also two boys on the rolls. Elder sisters Grace and Mary joined the teaching staff. Ellen, known universally as Aunt Lil, bought Moreton Hall in 1919. The building was reputed[by whom?] to have been built in 1527 in the reign of Henry VIII and remodelled in the time of William and Mary. However, the historical buildings provided little comfort and the school uniform contained the djibbahs, a box pleated tunic worn for games and lessons (to avoid time lost for changing), and a full length all enveloping cloak.

Picture of Moreton Hall main building
Moreton Hall Main Building


"Aunt Lil" died in 1940 leaving a thriving and growing school with a strong ethos of music, dance and public speaking which survives today. She was succeeded by her daughter, Mary, a keen musician who fostered the love of music in her pupils. Mary died in 1945 at a relatively young age and was appropriately commemorated by a bronze sculpture by Karel Vogel [8] depicting three pupils playing musical instruments. Her sister Bronwyn Lloyd-Williams had trained at the Bedford College of Physical Training and was a freelance journalist in London. She had frequently visited Moreton Hall, choreographing dance productions, teaching lacrosse (she had captained Wales) and cricket and leading rambles in the surrounding countryside. She left her career to take on the headship and continued in this role until her resignation, soon followed by her death in 1973. This ended the "family" period of the school which continued its development as an educational trust.[9] Roger Goolden (1933–2014), appointed by Bronwen Lloyd-Williams in 1963, held the position of Clerk of Works until 1993. He oversaw a significant extension of the school buildings, including a boarding block and swimming pool.

Present day[edit]

The school, a charitable trust,[10] is set in 100 acres of parkland on the beautiful Shropshire/North Wales border, four miles from the historic market town of Oswestry and an hour from Manchester Airport and Birmingham Airport, West Midlands. The school is made up of two parts: Moreton First (the Junior School)[11] for boys and girls aged 4–11 and the senior school for girls aged 11 and over. First Steps Nursery opened in 2007 for 1-4 year olds.[12] The Principal is Jonathan Forster M.A., FRSA[13] and the Head of Moreton First, C. Ford M.A., B.Sc.[14]

Shropshire union canal picture
Shropshire countryside


Moreton Hall offers a range of subjects at both GCSE and A Level. While not as strictly selective as many fellow independent schools, it still performs well in the exam league tables.

Moreton Hall has a Learning Support tuition system, which is available to all students at no extra charge. The purpose is to encourage pupils, whatever their educational background, to grow in self-confidence and achieve academic success at GCSE, A Level and beyond. The 2009 A Level results place Moreton in 112th position nationally in the Daily Telegraph league table of Independent Schools.[15]- At GCSE, results were also outstanding, placing Moreton 77th in the Daily Telegraph league tables.[16]

The Midyis[17] Value Added League Table produced by Durham University in 2010 and again in 2011 ranks Moreton Hall as the top school nationally in value added ratings.

Pastoral Care[edit]

The school has a pastoral system, whereby each girl has her own personal tutor who monitors her academic and pastoral progress.[18][19]

Boarding houses[edit]

There are six boarding houses, each with its own Housemistress, Assistant Housemistress and Tutor team, which includes resident tutors who assist in the running of the house. Day girls are also attached to one of the boarding houses and have the option to sleep over.

  • The Stables Junior Dorm (up to Year 6, age 11) and Years 7-8 (age 11-13)
  • Pilkington House for Years 9 (age 13-14)
  • Gem House for Years 10 (age 14-15)
  • Lloyd-Williams House for Year 11 (age 15-16)
  • Rylands House for Year 12 (age 16-17)
  • Charlesworth House for Year 13 (age 17-18) [20]

Due to its semi-rural location, Moreton Hall is predominantly a boarding school. Flexible, weekly and full boarding is available to girls aged 8 and above. Most sixth formers are full boarders while day girls are welcome to board on an ad hoc basis.[21]

Moreton Hall has four Divisions, which are separate from the boarding house system, called Calverts, Norton, Roberts and Vincents for which the pupils can earn points for work, sport, drama, music etc.



Moreton Hall has a large music department offering a wide range of musical activities to GCSE and A Level which are among the key fundamentals of the curriculum. The school has a wide range of musical groups and ensembles for all ages and abilities, and music tours abroad take place every two years. Tours have included venues such as St Mark's Basilica in Venice, St. Nicholas’ Church in Old Town Square (Prague) and Salzburg Cathedral. Past tours have visited Boston, Paris, Barcelona, Venice, Prague and Salzburg.


Lacrosse and Hockey are the principal winter sports; regularly girls are selected from the senior teams to represent the Junior Midlands Lacrosse team at the national territorial tournament. The school 2nd team are the current Welsh Lacrosse Association Rally champions.

Hockey is also played, with at least one team every year representing Shropshire at the Midland Regional Hockey Association Finals. Cross-country is another key winter sport, with many junior and senior girls being selected to represent the county and in 2010 the Junior team qualified for the English Schools’ Cross Country National Finals.[22] Fourteen outdoor courts and one county-size indoor court are available for tennis. Athletics continues to grow as a major sport at Moreton during the summer term. Students have the opportunity to train at a track in Wrexham.

Drama and public speaking[edit]

Performing arts activities include music, drama, verse speaking, public speaking and debating. The Senior and Middle School put on two major plays/musicals every year and the Junior School put on plays throughout the year. Students regularly take part in speaking and debating competitions such as the Business and Professional Women’s Public Speaking Competition,[23] the Shropshire Festival of Verse and Prose and Thomas Cranmer Awards.[24]

Moreton Enterprises[edit]

Moreton Enterprises[25] is a business venture which was established at the school 25 years ago. There are seven retail businesses and two service based businesses (Events Management and Environmental Services). The businesses are all managed by the Lower Sixth (Year 12) girls.[26][27] The most recent addition to Moreton Enterprises is Ryman[28] which opened in Spring 2010. An early Enterprise was the re-opening of nearby Gobowen railway station, headed by geography teacher David LLoyd and pupils at the school. David Lloyd is remembered by having a locomotive of the Wrexham & Shropshire Railway company named after him.

Noted Old Moretonians[edit]


  1. ^ "Ofsted report 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Welcome to Oswestry". 18 January 2001. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Michael Charlesworth". The Daily Telegraph. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Michael Charlesworth". 5 June 2008. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Charlesworth, Michael (2003). The Story of Moreton Hall. Shrewsbury: Quiller Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-904057-35-7. 
  6. ^ Edwardes, Evan (1930). "Byr Hanes am Blwyf Nantcwnlle" [A Short History of the Parish of Nantcwnlle]. Cambrian News. Aberystwyth. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "An Independent Day and Boarding School in Shropshire for Girls and Boys from 0-18". Oswestry School. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "British sculpture". Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Moreton Hall Educational Trust Limited of SY11 3EW in Weston Rhyn Oswestry". Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Moreton Hall". Charity Commission. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  11. ^ "Welcome to Moreton First". Moreton Hall School. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  12. ^ "First Steps Nursery at Moreton Hall School Shropshire". Moreton Hall School. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "Welcome from Jonathan Forster, Principal". Moreton Hall School. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "Staff List". Moreton Hall School. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "GCSE league tables: Key stage 4". The Daily Telegraph. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "A-level results 2010 school-by-school". The Daily Telegraph. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  17. ^ CEM Centre. "BaselineTest Contents". Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Moreton Hall School". Independent Schools Inspectorate. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  19. ^ "Moreton Hall". Ofsted. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  20. ^ "Houses". Moreton Hall School. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  21. ^ "Boarding and Day". Moreton Hall School. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  22. ^ "ESAA English Schools Cross Country Cup Final 2010". English Schools' Athletic Association. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  23. ^ "Womens organisations - women working for women". Business and Professional Women UK. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  24. ^ 4B Media. "Awards". The Prayer Book Society. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  25. ^ "Introducing Moreton Enterprises". Moreton Hall School. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "Moreton's misses are a surefire hit". Shropshire Magazine. March 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  27. ^ "Why we've put shopping on the curriculum". Mail Online. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  28. ^ "Ryman Stationery and Office Supplies". Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  29. ^ "Denise Bates". 
  30. ^ "Dame Linda Dobbs". 100 Great Black Britons. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  31. ^ "Thea Musgrave, composer". Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  32. ^ "Centenary Old Moretonian Reunion". Moreton Hall School. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  33. ^ "Alison Rylands". Frinton Gallery. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 

External links[edit]