Celebrating 150 Years

Sunday 23rd September 2018 marked Founder's Day; during the academic year 2018/19 we celebrated 150 years of Bishop's Stortford College.

Much has changed since 1868 but we still use the original school building School House, which is has recently been transformed into our new administrative hub, additional classroom facilities and Senior School Staff Common Room. Today, we enjoy outstanding facilities across our 130 acre campus, some of the best boarding School House in the 1860saccommodation in the region and are consistently placed in the top 20 co-educational independent day and boarding schools in the UK. What hasn't changed is our desire to share with our immediate College community and more broadly, with the community of Bishop's Stortford and the surrounding area.

During our sesquicentennial we held a number of events for pupils, staff, parents, Old Stortfordians, Governors and the wider community.  We shared our wonderful facilities, celebrated our achievements, developed further our relationships with our fellow member schools of the Bishop's Stortford Educational Trust and shared our celebrations with the community at large.

On Sunday 23rd September 2018 we commemorated Founders’ Day and celebrated our 150th anniversary with a Service of Thanksgiving in the Memorial Hall. Current families and Old Stortfordians were invited to mark this special occasion. After the service, refreshments and birthday cake were served in the marquee next to the Memorial Hall. 

Mem hall with marquee for om 18

Jeremy Gladwin speaking in Mem Hall on Founders Day Orchestra playing in Mem Hall on Founders Day

Founders Day Cupcakes in Marquee Founders Day in the Marquee

Founders Day Chairman of Governors speech Belinda Callow speaking on Founders Day

On Monday 24th September the whole College community came together for our annual Charity Day, which, in 2018, raised money for OneYMCA.  Pupils from all sections of the College took part in a huge flash mob dance to the iconic song YMCA by Village People, with Prep and Senior School pupils dancing on Middle Green and Pre-Prep pupils hosting their very own dance off.



150th History bookThe History of Bishop's Stortford College, a 196- page hard backed book, is available, priced at £34.50. To buy a copy, please click the link here. Please note, this volume is heavy and so if you wish the book to be mailed to you, there will be an additional postage and packaging charge of £6.50 (UK mainland), £11 (EU) and £17.65 (rest of the world).  Pupils, staff and Old Stortfordians are able to purchase commemorative pin badges (£8)  and our special edition ties (£13) from the School Shop.

Tie Badge 1

Tie and pin badge to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the College

Please find an outline of some of our celebratory events below.

June 2019

10th - 21st

Drama Ties Fortnight 

150th Anniversary Carnival performance in Pre-Prep U3 on stage for Battle for BSC Drama Performance 2019

A series of special performances by the Pre-Prep and Prep School linked by a common theme and depicting life at the College over the years and possibly the future too.


The Old Stortfordians President's Day

Cars on presidents day 2019 Cricket match on os presidents day 2019


May 2019


Simon Horobin, Professor of English at Magdalen College, Oxford

Simon Horobin in FLT 2

Simon Horobin discussed the Future of English: Once a Powerful Tool in Communications, Diplomacy and Politics


Tracey Follows, Founder of Futuremade on The Future of Gender

Tracey Follows in The Future of Gender Talk

Tracey Follows discussed The Future of Gender and was introduced by Anna Hickey, COO of consulting firm Wavemaker. 


March 2019


Ferguson Lecture with Professor Brendan Simms of Cambridge University

Brendan simms in ferguson lecture 4

Brendan Simms discussed The UK Post Brexit.


Ferguson Lecture with Jonathan Bartley, Co-Leader of the Green Party

Jonathan bartley speaking in flt

Jonathan Bartley explored How Sustainable Ways of Life Will Change the Way We Live. 


Ferguson Lecture with Sam Wells, Church of England Priest

Sam wells giving ferguson lecture talk

Sam Wells spoke on the topic of What Will Influence our Moral Compass in a Secular Age?


Choral Concert

The combined choirs of pupils, parents, staff and friends of Bishop’s Stortford College came together with the College Brass Ensemble, percussion and organ to perform a special 150th Choral Concert. 


February 2019


Visual Arts Exhibition

Paintings on display in Mem Hall for Art Show 2019 Pottery on display in Mem Hall 2019

Running alongside our 10th Festival of Literature, we hosted a celebration of visual creativity by staging an exhibition of some of the finest work from recent years from all sections of the College.

1st - 14th

10th Festival of Literature 

Debs newbold smaller Picture Book Award winners 2019 with Sarah McIntyre

Our annual celebration of the written and spoken word was as exciting as ever, including speakers from across the literary spectrum. The Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award was also presented to this year's winners.

From 1st

Commemorative "A History of Bishop's Stortford College" Book Launch

During Festival Week we launched our 150th Anniversary History of Bishop's Stortford College. Written by local author Gill Mullins and compiled by a team from the College, this hard backed edition marks this wonderful occasion with a wide selection of photographs from the College Archives.


Ferguson Lecture with historian Tom Holland

Tom holland ferguson lecture in the flt

Open to the public, this free lecture discussed How Did We Arrive Where We Are? A Brief Analysis of the Last 150 Years



November 2018


Remembrance Services in the Memorial Hall 

Steve Benson at OS Remembrance Service Prefects at Prep School Remembrance Service

With special emphasis on the ending of WW1 and the loss of so many lives, including those from the College community, we reflected on this conflict and others since with services for all sections of the College.


Remembrance Day Service and Civic Lunch

Supporting our local branch of the Royal British Legion we laid a special wreath at the town War Memorial on behalf of the College community. At noon we hosted a lunch attended by former Headmaster Jeremy Gladwin, Prefects and leaders of the local community.

27th, 28th, 29th

Celebration Musical

Senior School performers in Not that Different musical Finale in Not That Different Senior School play

Senior School dramatists performed a specially commissioned musical to celebrate our educational values and progress through the last 150 years.


October 2018




Time Capsule Event - planned by all three sections of the College, the contents of our Time Capsule illustrate life at the College in 2018. The time capsule was buried at 11 am on Masters Green and will be reopened in 2068.

Time capsule is buried on headmasters green Time capsule plinth with plaque

A selection of trees were planted across the campus to mark our 150th.


VIP Visit/Whole College Celebration Day

The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire visited the College. 

Lord Lieutenant with Prep School headmaster and heads of school Lord Lieutenant meeting Senior School Head Boy and Girl

We aim to give an insight into our strengths, our facilities and include fellow BSET schools in the day.


September 2018

19th Whole College Photograph including all pupils and staff
23rd 150th Service of Thanksgiving in the Memorial Hall to commemorate Founders' Day


Whole College Celebration Day - a cross campus celebration of Founders' Day