St Margaret's School, Bushey

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St Margaret's School
Established 1749
Type Independent day and boarding school
Headteacher Mrs Rose Hardy, MA (Oxon), MEd, FRSA
Location Merry Hill Road
WD23 1DT
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Students 450+
Gender Girls
Ages 4–18
Houses Windsor     , St John's     , Southwark     , Waterhouse     

St Margaret's School is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 4–18 in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

As well as day places for all age groups the school offers a range of flexible boarding options for both UK and international pupils from year 7 (age 11) and is situated in 74 acres (300,000 m2) of countryside close to London.


In 1749 'the Society of Stewards and Subscribers for Maintaining and Educating Poor Orphans of Clergymen' was set up in London and charitable donations made by wealthy people including the royal family and politicians. In 1760 Princess Amelia gave £100 and in 1791 George III donated £500, being part of the proceeds of one of Mr Handel's musical performances in Westminster Abbey. A school for 20 girls was set up in a house in Southwark, London, and the boys were sent to an existing school in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.[1]

On 28 April 1809 the Society was Incorporated at the sole expense of the Bishop of Durham and it became the Clergy Orphan Corporation. The Clergy Orphan Corporation paid for a new school building to be erected on land bought in St John's Wood next to Lord's Cricket Ground, and both boys and girls moved there in 1812. In 1852 the boys moved to Canterbury (now St Edmund's School).[2]

The St John's Wood site was sold in 1895 to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway and the school building demolished. Today the Lord's Indoor Cricket School stands on the exact site of the old Clergy Orphan Corporation School. The eminent architect Alfred Waterhouse was commissioned to design and build a new school on land bought at Bushey, Hertfordshire and, while this was being done, the girls moved to temporary premises at Windsor.[3] The new school was ready in 1897 and in September, 80 clergy orphans, their teachers and formidable Headmistress, Miss Emily Baylee, moved in. This Waterhouse building is Grade II listed. Miss Baylee renamed the school after Saint Margaret of Scotland who was thought to be a good role model for the girls.

In 1902 the first fee-paying pupils were admitted and in 1940 the first day girls were admitted. In 1996 the two schools, St Margaret's at Bushey and St Edmunds's at Canterbury, ceased to be owned by the Clergy Orphan Corporation and became fully independent schools.[4]

St Margaret's is now solely a fee paying school.

Notable former pupils

The Old Girls' Association of St Margaret's was established in 1897; in 1909 it assumed the name of "St Margaret's Guild".

The Guild is very active and maintains contacts with old girls and produces an annual magazine is produced. An annual central London reunion is held along with various regional meetings; the current association membership is around 2,000.[5]

External links


  1. 'The History of St Margaret's School Bushey 1749-2009' by Enid Jarvis. Published by St Margaret's Guild 2009.
  2. 'The History of St Margaret's School Bushey 1749-2009' by Enid Jarvis. Published by St Margaret's Guild 2009.
  3. Chapter 4 'The History of St Margaret's School Bushey 1749-2009 by Enid Jarvis
  4. St Margaret's Clergy Orphan School and Chapel, Images of England, English Heritage National Monuments Record.
  5. St Margaret's Guild website
  6. "Dame Jillian (Jill) Paula Ann Ellison". Burke's Peerage.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Emmet, Evelyn Violet Elizabeth, Baroness Emmet of Amberley (1899–1980)". A historical dictionary of British women (2nd ed.). Routledge. 2003. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-85743-228-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. The Times
  9. Twitter tweet
  10. CCPR website