Queen Elizabeth School

Our History

Take a look back at the History of Queen Elizabeth School

Students are following in a long tradition of
scholarship and care when they join QES!

Read all about the history of QES here
or scroll below to explore the timeline.

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1591

Queen Elizabeth I granted a royal charter for a grammar school in Kirkby Lonsdale.

1609

Lady of the Manor, Dame Elizabeth Curwen donated the freehold of the original schoolhouse on Mill Brow in the town, together with three acres of land that now form the existing QES site. 

1628

The schoolhouse on Mill Brow
was rebuilt with two stories
to replace the "mean thatched house"

1715

A set of statutes were issued which amongst other things said that lessons should start at 6am and gave students just 22 days holiday per year.

1808

There were a total of 65 boys at the school, declining to around 40 in 1822 and 23 in 1866.

1848

The original 1848 Schoolroom
converted into Library mid
twentieth century.
(now Lab. 1)

1879

The school played its first recorded rugby match, losing to Windermere College. 

1905

Girls were admitted for the
first time. The Burnett Building
was constructed. 

1914-1918

55 former pupils served in
the First World War,
10 of whom were killed.

1918

Settling off from Market Square
to travel to Settle for Hockey
Match, 9th March 1918

1919

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School gave up its independent status and became part of the local education authority provision. There were 126 pupils.

1920

Girls’ Uniform List from
Prospectus issued by
Headmaster J.L. Johnson, c. 1920s

1920s

Group of boarder girls, c. 1920s
in front of main door of
Springfield House

1920s

Springfield House in 1920s,
showing 1919 extension
on right hand side

1921

Staff and pupils working to
level the site for the
Cricket Pavilion 1921

1927

Girls’ Hockey Team 1927

1930

There were a total of 142 pupils with about equal numbers of males and females, 54 boarders and 88 day pupils.

1938

The gardens and back of Terret
Dene: Girls’ Boarding
House acquired 1938

1939

Gymnasium built in 1939, also
used as Assembly Hall

1939

Art Room, 1939

1939

Science Laboratory, 1939

1939

£10,900 was spent on a gymnasium, assembly hall, woodwork room, art room, cloakroom and staffrooms (separate one for male and female members of staff), none of which survive today.

1939-1945

During the Second World War, 137 girls and their teachers were evacuated to the school from South Shields. 13 former pupils died whilst serving.

1940s

Photo of group of girls from the early 1940s. As the building in the
background is the Institute in Bective Road, Kirkby Lonsdale the girls are most likely the South Shields High School evacuees

1950s/60s

Headmaster L.G. Defoe with
Prefects, late 1950s or early 1960s

1960s

Going to lessons in the Institute
during construction of 3-storey
block in mid 1960s

1966

Headmaster P.R. Castle with
pupils, c. 1966-1972

1968

The Three-Storey block was built at a cost of £67,000.

1979

QES became a comprehensive school, no longer selecting students based on academic ability, after an extensive building programme.

1970s

Sports’ Day, early 1970s

1970s

Teammates in 1970s, including the 1975 cross country team. 

1970s

A play from the 1970s

1970s

Building work mid to late 1970s

1970s

Main corridor leading to the
front entrance in the late
1970s. Seated Miss C.A.
Howard, Deputy Head

1972

Play c. 1972/3, with at least 2 members of Staff - M. Eglyn in centre and J.S. Moyes back row third from right.

1980s

Boarders enjoying a meal
in the 1980s

1987

The school ceased to have boarders and Springfield House became the Sixth Form Centre.

1991

The school celebrated it's 400th anniversary with a time capsule buried in the grounds. There were now over 600 students.

2002

The John Howard Building was constructed followed by the Westmorland Arts Building the following year.

2010

QES converted to Academy status

2017

QEStudio was established, with both schools becoming part of the Lunesdale Learning Trust. The Lawrence Hargrave Technology Building was constructed. It is named after a former pupil who became an Australian aeronautics pioneer.

2018

The Lunesdale Sports Centre opened.

2019

QEStudio is built and starts taking students.