Bishop’s Stortford College
Bishop’s Stortford College was founded in 1868 by a group of prominent Nonconformists (that is those belonging to protestant churches independent of the Church of England) in East Anglia who wanted to establish a public school “in which Evangelical Nonconformists might secure for their boys, an effective and Christian education on terms that should not be beyond the reach of the middle class generally”.
From the start, the Nonconformists worked to break down barriers between people and to respect individual conscience. This was reflected in the combination of boarding and day pupils and in a determination to play a role in the local community.
The school built a strong reputation for sport and was one of the first schools in the country to have its own indoor heated pool, built in 1895. Under the headmastership of F.S. Young, the school continued to grow in both size and reputation. Young commissioned many of the red brick school buildings designed in the arts and crafts style by architect and former pupil Herbert Ibberson, acquired the sports fields which occupy 100 acres of land and, in 1902, took over an existing school for boys aged 7 to 13 years. The life of the Bishop’s Stortford College Prep School began with just 8 day pupils and 8 boarders.
In 1968 the school celebrated its centenary with a visit from the Queen Mother and in 1978 the first girls were admitted into the Sixth Form. The transition to full co-education throughout the school began in 1995 coinciding with the opening of a new Pre-Prep for girls and boys aged 4 to 7 years.
Bishop’s Stortford College’s reputation for providing an outstanding education in the fullest sense of the word has continued to grow. Today, it is one of the leading co-educational, all through, day and boarding schools in the country with approximately 1200 pupils across the 3 schools: Pre-Prep School (4-7 yrs; 128 pupils), Prep School (7-13 yrs; 506 pupils), Senior School (13-18 yrs; 581 pupils). Approximately 220 board: around 50 in the Prep School (most boarding from the age of 9 years) and 170 in the Senior School, including a number of international pupils.
Given the diversity within the College, there is huge scope for bringing different people of different ages together to learn from each other and enjoy each other’s company.
The College is conveniently located on the edge of the historic market town of Bishop’s Stortford and just a short walk from the shops and the train station.
Bishop’s Stortford College International Summer School
In keeping with the College’s history and mission for growth and development, we are delighted to announce that we are partnering with Experio Summer to provide an international summer school for overseas’ students aged 8-17 in July and August. With Experio Summer’s reputation and 20+ year track record of delivering high-quality summer schools at some of the UK’s leading boarding schools, we are entirely confident that our international summer school will meet the same high standards for which Bishop’s Stortford College is widely known. It will also give prospective and future overseas’ boarders an ideal opportunity to experience living and studying at the College while getting to know the local area and some of the UK’s most famous cities (e.g. London, Cambridge, Canterbury) prior to joining the College full-time.
Bishop’s Stortford is a historic market town in Hertfordshire, south-east England, just west of the M11 motorway which links Cambridge and London: 35km south of the famous university city and 45km north-east of the Capital. From the town’s centrally located railway station, there are frequent daily train services to both Cambridge (30 mins) and London Liverpool Street (45 mins).
The town of Bishop’s Stortford took its origin from, and has grown up around, the ford over the river Stort. Archaeological evidence shows that the Romans had several roads across the area. From c. 1060 when the town and its castle were sold by Edith the Fair to the (Saxon) Bishop of London, it became known as Bishop’s Esterteferd. In the Domesday Book (1086) it is written as ‘Storteford’, hence the present spelling of Stortford. In the early 13th century, the town became a pawn in the disputes between King John and Pope Innocent II. The King seized the town from the Bishop and ordered the destruction of the Norman castle in 1211 and then, soon after in 1214, had to pay for it to be rebuilt.
Bishop’s Stortford developed as a small but thriving market town throughout the Middle Ages, achieving a population of 2,300 by 1801.
St Michael’s Church (rebuilt after the Black Death in the 14th Century) and the weekly market reflected the area’s increasing prosperity.
Famed for its hostelries, of which a few still exist, and for being a staging post on the mail coach route between London and Cambridge, the town’s trade and wealth was enhanced by the opening of the Stort Navigation to London in 1769.
In 1826 the Corn Exchange opened, indicating the local prominence of cereal farming and the malting industry; the Stort Navigation underpinned this trade with the Capital. In 1842, connection to the railway laid the foundations for Bishop’s Stortford’s present importance as both a market town in its own right and as a favoured commuter area for the City of London. London Stansted Airport, just 5 miles from the town, originated from the extension of a local airfield by US Army Engineers in the 1940s.
Today, Bishop’s Stortford is an affluent area, partly due to its status as a commuter town for mainly financial workers in London and has an estimated population of 41,000. The town is also home to many people working in the tourist industry, including hotels, catering and airline staff, as it is the closest large town to Stansted Airport. Bishop’s Stortford is served both by high street chain stores and long-established family shops. The main retail streets are South Street, Potter Street, North Street and Hockerill Street. There is a modern shopping complex called Jackson Square. Market days are Thursday and Saturday, which consist of a selection of stalls with a variety of goods including bags and luggage, flowers, cards and clothing.