Built in 1888, the College was at the forefront of women’s education in the late 19th century and was one of only a handful of schools to prepare girls for university examinations.
Instantly recognisable as one of Jersey’s most iconic Victorian buildings, the grand classical proportions of the Ladies’ College were designed by local architect Adolphus Curry in 1887.
Home to 30 boarders, 120 day pupils and 14 members of staff when it was built, the building was extended in 1892 to create more dormitory space after attracting pupils from all parts of the world for its high standard of teaching.
‘A brisk little lady with eyes that were said to twinkle with amusement or flash at injustice’
Miss Elsie Roberts, Lady Principal of Jersey Ladies’ College (1881-1915)
‘Roll call and prayers were held in the Dining hall. No girl was allowed to pass the gates who was not wearing gloves, and much attention was given to decorum. There was no rushing about in the corridors and no loud speaking.’ Hilda Le Quesne.
A centre of excellence for learning, the Jersey Ladies’ College building was set in extensive landscaped grounds, overlooking a large formal lawn where tennis was played. A Greek-style theatre was built in the 1930s.
In 1959, Jersey College for Girls received a visit from royalty. Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret was welcomed to the school and is shown here being greeted by the pupils and teachers assembled on the College lawns in July 1959.
The oak-panelled library was left in the old building after the school moved in 1999. The original oak panelling and columns have been painstakingly restored and reinstalled at the College’s new location, ensuring its important heritage lives on for future generations.
Original features like the mahogany staircases, were part of the building’s character and will be restored to life by the new development. The ‘Velvet’ stairs, pictured in 1900, were used by staff, not by pupils.
In 1922 the House system was introduced, with houses named after influential women of history. The College’s heritage lives on in the names of the new residence blocks; Austen-Bartlett, Cavell, Curie-Fry, Garrett-Anderson, Inglis and Nightingale.
In 1941, as part of the German Occupation of the island, the College building was requisitioned and used as a hospital, first for the construction workers and from 1944 to treat wounded German soldiers.
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