A long history of educating girls
Did you know that Florence Nightingale was instrumental in the foundation of the original Royal School in the 19th Century? With a little help from Queen Victoria.
We're hugely proud of our heritage and illustrious history of providing pioneering, first-class education to girls in Bath.
The Royal School
The founding of the Royal School for the Daughters of Officers of the Army was in large part due to Mr Alfred Douglas Hamilton, a renowned philanthropist. During the Crimean War Mr Hamilton established the Officers Widows and Orphans Fund and the idea for the Royal School grew. Her Majesty, Queen Victoria provided a donation to help establish the school and became one of the original patrons. The first Lady Superintendent, who was recommended by Florence Nightingale, Miss Emmeline Maria Kingdon, was appointed in the Autumn of 1864. On 24 August 1865, the doors opened to the first cohort of Royal School girls, who would live and receive their education at the same beautiful site we are housed in today.
Bath High School
Bath High School was founded with the aim of providing top quality, affordable education to girls of all social classes and was one of the first schools to be established by the Girls' Day School Trust outside of London. The creation of the school was supported by over 90 local individuals and firms who held a strong belief in promoting girls’ education. The first headmistress of Bath High School was Miss Susan Wood, who welcomed the first students to the school on 21 September 1875, at its premises at Portland Place in Lansdown and due to growth in 1926, moved to Hope House.
Royal High School Bath
We're a mixture of these two outstanding independent girls’ schools merging back in 1998, reinforcing the outstanding sense of community, warmth and commitment to girls’ only education that was held by both schools for over a century. We have been, and always will be an inspiring place to study – with a rich history of successes, challenges and achievements, and every student, teacher, parent, patron and supporter has played a key role in shaping who we are today.
Royal High School Bath: Past and Present
On the occasion of Royal High School Bath’s 20th Anniversary and in memory of our late DFO, Rebecca Barrell, a coffee table book covering the history of both the Royal School and Bath High from their foundation through to the creation of Royal High School as it is today was published.
Artfully researched and written by Anne Ockwell, who taught at both the Royal School, Bath High School and the Royal High School Bath, a lively story is told supported by a wonderful selection of photographs and images from the School’s extensive archives and contributions from the School’s alumnae. The book provides a fascinating compendium of life at our founding schools, and more recently RHS, crossing many generations.