Queen Margaret’s looks back over 120-year history on anniversary

To celebrate its 120th anniversary, Queen Margaret’s have delved into the archives to find ‘then and now’ pictures showcasing the school throughout the ages

To celebrate its 120th anniversary, an independent day and boarding school for girls in York has found a collection of ‘then and now’ pictures showcasing the school throughout the ages.

Escrick-based Queen Margaret’s was initially established in Scarborough by the Woodward Foundation on 23 July 1901 (pictured above).

The school was named after Queen Margaret, Queen of Scotland 1070-1093, for her practical charity, optimism and energy.

Before: the girls’ dorms in Red House back then


After: Red House boarding at Queen Margaret’s now


The school has moved locations a few times in its 120-year history. During World War I the students were evacuated when two German battleships bombarded Scarborough.

Feminist author and former student, Winifred Holtby, recounted her experience in the Bridlington Chronicle. Eating breakfast with fellow students, she recalled hearing banging, which she at first thought was someone falling over.

Once the First World War was over, the students returned to Scarborough, only to be evacuated again in World War II to Castle Howard.

Before: the outdoor pool


After: the outdoor pool today


The school settled in Escrick Park in 1949 and has been there ever since. The country house, which was previously a private residence, is now a second home for hundreds of pupils every year.

Since 1986 the school has seen a period of development, with almost £10m being invested in new and improved facilities, including a new chapel.

After 120 years, many aspects of the school building remain largely the same and the school said the girls still enjoy the common rooms.

Before: the old chapel


After: the replacement chapel


Headmistress of Queen Margaret’s, Sue Baillie, said: “I feel hugely privileged to be leading Queen Margaret’s.

“Girls’ education has never been more relevant than it is now and this is a school where every girl can succeed.”

See more pictures from the archives

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