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When Redmaids’ High School was formed in 2016, it brought together two schools with a combined 500 years of history and expertise in single-sex education, and a heritage dating back to 1634, maintaining our position as the oldest surviving girls’ school in the country.
The Red Maids’ School – One man’s vision
The Red Maids’ School, founded in 1634, became a Bristol institution and the oldest existing girls’ school in the country. It was the vision of its founder, Mayor and MP of Bristol, John Whitson. A wealthy merchant, he tragically outlived all three of his daughters. Perhaps because of this, he left his estate for the foundation of The Red Maids’ Hospital. In his will Whitson wrote that this unique establishment would be created for “40 poor women and children”. He also said that they would be “apparelled in red” – a cloth that he himself manufactured. Whitson’s financial legacy continues to the present day. It funds scholarships and bursaries, which Redmaids’ High School gives to girls from a wide range of backgrounds.
Redland High School – Light and empowerment
Redland High School provided exceptional education for girls for over 130 years. It established itself as one of the top independent girls’ schools in the South West. Reverends T G Rose and Urijah Thomas opened the school in 1882. The first premises were two rented properties in Redland, Bristol where Headmistress Miss Elizabeth Cocks taught just four girls. From that small beginning numbers quickly rose. By 1885 the school had 154 pupils on the register and had moved to Redland Court, an 18th century mansion. The school adopted a powerful motto, ‘So Hateth She Derknesse’, from a Chaucer poem, along with the virtuous daisy as a school symbol. These words and image epitomise the school’s mission to open girls up to the light and empower them with learning.
You can help us continue the legacies of John Whitson and Reverends Rose and Thomas by investing in our Bursary Fund. Many of those who have been a part of our community as students, parents, staff or friends choose to give back to the School by donating either time or financial assistance. This is something we are very grateful for and makes a significant difference to current students. Redmaids’ High School operates a Regular Giving Scheme inviting our alumnae to share our goal to develop tomorrow’s global political, business, sporting and cultural leaders. Support can be given to inspire via our Lighthouse Mentor Programme and/or invest in our Bursary Fund.
Fill in the form below to register your interest and gain more information from our Development team.