The Story

of Bishop’s Stortford College


The College was founded by prominent East Anglian Nonconformists. It opened its doors to just 40 pupils.

Our first Head was the Reverend Richard Alliott who led the school for 31 years. The school only had five Head of Colleges during its first one hundred years!


Architect and former pupil Herbert Ibberson was commissioned to design many of the red brick school buildings we see today. The College acquired 100 acres of land, giving us the fantastic sports fields you see today.

Fabric canvas chutes were used as fire escapes from School House! We were one of the first schools in the country to have its own indoor heated pool. The remains of this pool can still be found under the floor of the Ferguson Lecture Theatre!


The Prep School was established with just eight day pupils and eight boarders.


Opening of Grimwade House – purpose built Prep School boasting classroom accommodation for 40 pupils and residential accommodation.


The Memorial Hall, our most distinctive building, was built to commemorate the 62 pupils who lost their lives in the First World War. A second Roll of Honour was added in 1949, inscribed with the names of a further 154 former pupils who lost their lives in World War Il. Designed by Bertram Clough Williams Ellis, best known as the genius behind the creation of Portmeirion Village (1925 to 1975).


371 boys enrolled at the College.


Otto Hutter arrived in England via the Kindertransport from Austria in 1938, his full boarding education at the College from 1939 was funded by two Old Stortfordians (OS) who had answered the call to support Jewish children fleeing Nazi expansion. Otto continued his studies after the College and became a pioneering Professor of Physiology, undertaking key cardiac research which, amongst other things, enabled the creation of the first pacemakers, never forgetting the generosity of the support of his OS benefactors.


The College celebrated its centenary with a visit from none other than the Queen Mother. You can see a plaque commemorative of her visit by the entrance to School House Drive. Arriving and departing by helicopter her visit delighted the 3000 guests in attendance, but none more so than the pupils when she announced an extra two days summer holiday!


The Sixth Form became co-educational with 15 girls, including six boarders, joining the newly opened Young House.


The College celebrated its 125th anniversary – announcing at Speech Day that the School would become fully co-educational in 1995.


The College became fully co-educational and opened its doors to our Pre-Prep (taking children aged 4-7 for the first time) and 20 girls (29% of total pupil roll).


Over a decade of fantastic building and development. From the opening of the swimming pool, to the Ferguson Building, Art Centre, Dawson Building and new day and boarding houses.


The College campus hosted the Police operational hub for the journey of the Olympic torch through the area.


The opening of Trotman House meant that the College now boasted equal numbers of boys’ and girls’ Houses!


We celebrated our 150th anniversary with a year of celebrations including: hosting Question Time, the burial of a time capsule on Masters’ Green and a 150th anniversary celebration day for all alumni.


We excitedly welcome our first female Head, Kathy Crewe-Read.


A staggering 182,010 hours of online meeting time is clocked up by staff and pupils adjusting to learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Extensive renovations are completed on School House. Once a much-loved boarding house, the phenomenal restoration now houses the main College reception, Professional Services, all new classrooms and two Senior School academic departments.


Extensive refurbishments took place across the campus including the Senior School Library, Shell building and classrooms, Pre-Prep building and classrooms, and Young and Hayward Houses. We also underwent a rebrand with a brand new logo, website, signage and videos.