In 1883, St Leonard's School for Girls became St Leonards and moved to the site which it still occupies today, an expansive piece of land within the town’s medieval priory walls. The campus is rich in history, having served as a place of education almost continuously since it was first used as St Leonard's College for poor clerks in 1512. One of the two founders of St Leonard's College was Prior John Hepburn, whose motto 'Ad Vitam' – For Life – was adopted by the School in the 1880s.
St Leonards is widely held to have been the inspiration for Enid Blyton’s famous Malory Towers series of novels. Blyton never revealed if this view was correct but we still believe that St Leonards could have contributed to the creation of a classic!
It’s no surprise that many of our pupils have gone on to make significant contributions to a global society. Our list of alumni includes:
Betty Archdale – early barrister and pioneer of women's education in Australia
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham – leading abstract painter, based in St Ives, Cornwall
Hazel Byford, Baroness Byford DBE – former Shadow Minister for Food and Rural Affairs
Louisa Garrett Anderson – medical pioneer, social reformer, suffragist
Kitty McKane Godfree – Wimbledon Ladies' Singles Champion, 1924 and 1926 and winner of five Olympic tennis medals over the course of the 1920 and 1924 Games.
Margaret Haig Thomas (Lady Rhondda) – founder of political magazine, Time and Tide
Betty Harvie Anderson (Baroness Skrimshire) – Conservative politician and peer
Anji Hunter – former Director of Government Relations, 10 Downing Street
Kristin Linklater – vocal coach to many well-known actors, based at Columbia University
Max McElligott, lead singer of Wolf Gang
Kathleen Ollerenshaw DBE – mathematician and educationalist
Rosabelle Sinclair – honoured in U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Baltimore
Dr. Alice Stewart (née Naish) – pioneering epidemiologist
Penny Thomson – film producer and former Director of Edinburgh International Film Festival
Audrey Withers – editor of Vogue from 1940 to 1960