Westonbirt School

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Westonbirt School
Westonbirt House, part of the school
Motto "Bono malum superate"
(Overcome evil with good)
Established 1928

Independent, Public School

day and boarding
Religion Church of England
Headmistress Natasha Dangerfield
Founder Eleanor Louisa Houison Craufurd
Location Tetbury
DfE URN 115789 Tables
Students 220~
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18
Colours Red
Website www.westonbirt.gloucs.sch.uk

Westonbirt School is an independent day and boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18 located near Tetbury in Gloucestershire in South West England. Founded in 1928, it is a member of the Allied Schools organisation. The historical Westonbirt House is part of the school. Westonbirt Prep School is located within the 210 acre grounds of Westonbirt School.


Westonbirt School was founded by the Martyrs' Memorial and Church of England Trust (now known as the Allied Schools), which had acquired Westonbirt House and converted it into a school. During World War II, the premises were used by the Air Ministry and pupils and staff were evacuated to Wiltshire due to the Blitz. Six old girls died during the war and a memorial scholarship was set in their memory; girls who are daughters of British military personnel are entitled special discounts.[1]

In 2002, Westonbirt acquired Querns School to become its preparatory department. Seven years later it absorbed Rose Hill School to form the prep school Rose Hill Westonbirt. As of September 2013 Rose Hill Westonbirt School will be renamed Westonbirt Prep School.


Pupils are approximately two-thirds boarders and one-third day girls, all of whom are members of one of the following houses:

Holford, named after Robert Stayner Holford, owner of Westonbirt House before it was a school. Holford dormitories occupy the most elaborately decorated part of the house and are located around the balcony overlooking the great hall.

Dorchester, named after Dorchester House owned by Robert Holford in London, which served as the American Embassy from 1905 and 1912 and was demolished in 1929 to be replaced by the Dorchester luxury hotel. Dorchester dormitories are located in the old servants' quarters at the top of the house, including the school's central tower, currently part of the Dorchester House Mistress' rooms.

Badminton, named after Badminton House with dormitories located in the west wing of the house on the second floor.

Beaufort, named after Beaufort Polo Club, located near the school. This house is occupied completely by first and second year girls who are then sorted into one of the other three houses when they enter their second year.

The Sixth Form acts as a fifth house.

Buildings and grounds[edit]

The majority of the classrooms at the school are located in the courtyard, an area that was stables during the buildings' life as a stately home. Half of the sixth form dormitories are built above these classrooms. The new sixth form block was completed in 2008 and is located between the Science Block (opened in 1993 which contains the Art Department, D.T workshops, Science laboratories and the main I.T suite) and the courtyard classrooms.

In September 2012 the Marriott Music Centre was opened. Named after former Chairman of Governors this was designed by Bath-based architects DKA and built by Steele Davis between April and August 2012. It contains three learning spaces: The Technology Room, now to be named The Friends’ Room in appreciation of a substantial donation by The Friends of Westonbirt. The Greenwood Scott Studio and the Ensemble Room, which will be known as the Harborne Room, again in recognition of a substantial donation. This new centre compliments the Camelia Building, a small practice area for music pupils, originally a greenhouse.

In 2005 a new sports hall was opened by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. It features an Olympic size swimming pool, courts and a gym, which is open to members of the public.

The grounds include a lake, amphitheatre, grotto, fountains and a set of Italianate gardens. The school also owns a peacock that lives in the grounds. Many of the fields around the school are rented out to farmers for cattle grazing or are used to keep horses either belonging to the local stables or to the pupils themselves. The school now owns the church, St. Catherine's, which is located within the grounds and which was originally the local parish church; Westonbirt pupils attend the church regularly.

The main school building is centred on the reception and the great hall, which has a marble fireplace and large organ overlooked by a balcony. The school library, made up of a separate ante-library and larger non-fiction library, was recently renovated using funding from an anonymous donor.

The school has a large conservatory known as the Orangery which includes a stage and balcony used for school ceremonies and drama productions. A basement contains the costume wardrobe where dramatic costumes and props are kept, originally the house's bomb shelter during World War II.

See also[edit]

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ History of Westonbirt School
  2. ^ Philippa Booth. 2 August 2007. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  3. ^ Hedenborg, Susanna. "Carruthers [née Torrie], Pamela Isabel Jameson (1916–2009), showjumping course designer". ONDB. OUP. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  4. ^ Betty Clay. www.spanglefish.com. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  5. ^ Obituaries: Lady Henderson. 15 August 2010. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  6. ^ Obituaries : Dame Pamela Hunter. 28 June 2001. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  7. ^ Westonbirt School. www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  8. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8260583/Lady-McCorkell.html
  9. ^ For Freedom and Perfection. The Life of Yané Sandansky. www.kroraina.com. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  10. ^ Obituaries: Lady Pulbrook. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  11. ^ Inspirational campaigner who had vision. www.thisiscornwall.co.uk. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  12. ^ Obituaries : Lillian Ramsay. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  13. ^ Westonbirt School. www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  14. ^ GIPCA Hosts Patsy Toh Piano Recital. www.argief.litnet.co.za. Retrieved 26 March 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°36′21″N 2°11′44″W / 51.60583°N 2.19556°W / 51.60583; -2.19556