St Margaret's School, Bushey

St Margaret's School is an independent boarding and day school co-educational aged 2–18 in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

St Margaret's School
Merry Hill Road

, ,
WD23 1DT

Coordinates51°38′18″N 0°21′43″W / 51.6382°N 0.362°W / 51.6382; -0.362Coordinates: 51°38′18″N 0°21′43″W / 51.6382°N 0.362°W / 51.6382; -0.362
TypeIndependent day and boarding school
Established1749; 273 years ago (1749)
Head teacherMs Lara Péchard
Age2 to 18
HousesWindsor  , St John's  , Southwark  , Waterhouse  

As well as day places, the school offers boarding options for pupils from year 7 (age 11) and is situated in 60 acres (240,000 m2) of countryside close to London. The school is currently in the process of becoming co-educational. There are currently male students in the junior school, and in sixth form. St Margaret's is planning to go fully co-educational by 2022.


In 1749 'The Society of Stewards and Subscribers for Maintaining and Educating Poor Orphans of Clergymen' was set up in London and charitable donations to it were 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 by 1897 and in September of that year, 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 pupilsEdit

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. An annual central London reunion is held along with various regional meetings; the current association membership is around 2,000.[5]


  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. ^ Historic England. "St Margaret's Clergy Orphan School and Chapel (1346913)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  5. ^ St Margaret's Guild website Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Dame Jillian (Jill) Paula Ann Ellison". Burke's Peerage.
  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.
  8. ^ The Times
  9. ^ Pryce-Jones, David (1981). Unity Mitford: A Quest. Star Books. ISBN 035230149X.
  10. ^ Twitter tweet
  11. ^ CCPR website]

External linksEdit