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News > St Swithun's History > A look into the 1930's at St Swithun's

A look into the 1930's at St Swithun's


St Swithun’s has a lengthy history, and we thoroughly enjoy receiving old items or hearing stories about times gone by. Rowena Sharp, daughter of former student Jane Holmes kindly sent us a prospectus from her mother's time at the school in the early 1930’s. It is fascinating artefact of history. We wanted to be able to share this, so we have created a digitised version for your viewing, you can access it by clicking here.

A lot has changed since the prospectus was created, girls at St Swithun’s today are no longer required to wear ‘alpaca frocks’ as uniform and they don’t have to attend school on Sunday’s, much to their delight!

Some of the boarding houses in the prospectus are still in existence today; Hillcroft, Hyde Abbey, High House and Earlsdown. However, they have all changed premises since and the images will look rather unfamiliar to the girls of today. There are some subtle differences in name, with High House being ‘The High House’ and ‘Earl’s Down’ being two words.

It is intriguing that many things have remained largely consistent. Girls still study many of the same subjects as they did in the 1930’s albeit a much more updated version, and they still enjoy playing lacrosse, cricket and tennis.

In the prospectus the school stated its aim as:

‘Providing an education that will develop to the full capacity of every girl, whatever position she may have to fill. The school life is planned to give a wide outlook, to awaken varied interests, and to stimulate thought. The girls are expected to exercise judgement and self-reliance, and to act as responsible members of the community.’

Which doesn’t differ too much from its aims today:

‘St Swithun’s is a girls’ school well-known for its excellent all-round education; its forward-looking teaching methods; its scholarship; and the attitudes of mind it fosters in its students. It houses a civilised and compassionate community in secure and well-maintained buildings, and thoroughly prepares all its pupils for life beyond its gates.’

We hope you enjoy taking a step back in time.

Do you have a piece of St Swithun’s history in your home? Maybe it’s a prospectus, an item of uniform or a mystery souvenir from your time at the school. Whatever it may be, we would love to see it. Please get in touch with Olivia at or on 01962 835782.

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T: 01962 835734 or 01962 835782

Old Girls' Association
St Swithun's School
Alresford Road
SO21 1HA


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