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St Peter's 13-18



There was a rapid expansion in the number of day pupils at St Peter's in 1985. This caused the Grove House to be divided, the second part being called Clifton and housed in 17 Clifton, along with Grove; both being houses for day pupils. DH Hamilton was the first Housemaster of Clifton.


Dronfield was our first purpose built boarding house for boys. It was opened in 1964 by K.G. Coulthard and was named after that great Headmaster, John Dronfield, who had done so much to improve the fortunes and reputation of the school. The fine modem building became a girls’ house in 1987 with Peter Taylor in charge, replacing the girls’ hostel which had been in Alcuin House for six years with Miss Jean Wagstaff as warden.

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Dronfield opening 1964 with Bishop Dronfield opening 1964
Dronfield, 1970 Dronfield, 1995

Dronfield, 2003

The Grove

The Grove was opened in 1914 by the music master, G.F. Tendall, in the building known as the White House and later occupied by St Peter’s 8-13. W.H.G. Milnes took over in 1924, but because of the Depression years, the house was closed for 14 years, and was re-established in 17 Clifton by Robert Harding, Housemaster from 1948 to 1968.

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Clifton Grove Boarding House, 1914 Grove, 1951
Grove, 1954


In 1994 the School acquired a fine Victorian house in St Peter’s Grove which had previously been converted into an old folks’ home. The superior accommodation and greater space meant that School House could be transferred there, but the name was changed to that of the original property.

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Linton 1994 Linton, Games Room


The Manor was opened in 1919 under HW Liddle in the Old Manor House, Clifton, opposite The Rise. A photograph shows part of the extensive garden which later became Petersway and two shops. It is said that an ex-Manorite and early flier flew so low over it to impress his fellows that the propeller cut the telephone wires between the two chimney stacks. With less demand for boarding places in the depression years Manor was closed down in 1931. During the air raids the building was badly damaged, and when it was rebuilt the original third storey was omitted. The house is next to the present chemist’s. In 1942 Manor was re-opened in 17 Clifton and was there until 1946 when the boarders moved to newly acquired premises in 24 Clifton which was adjacent to 1 St Peter’s Grove, with GFJackson as Housemaster, and 17 Clifton was used by The Rise until its original home was rebuilt.


Queen's was a second day house and began in 1953 (Coronation Year), hence its name. Arthur Craven was the first Housemaster. What we now call Queen’s Building was begun following an appeal founded in 1927 to mark the 1300th anniversary of the School’s foundation. It was originally only the right hand end of what we see today and was known as the Library Building (the Stephenson Room and Toyne Library were formally opened in 1929). Queen’s House common rooms are in the extension to the original building, which was opened on October 11th 1935.

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Queen's building opening 1935

The Rise

The Rise opened in 1917 with CR Featherstone as Housemaster. The present building was originally a pair of semi-detached houses, and the school bought the right hand one which was called Brantwood. The purchase of the other half in 1919 allowed extension and changes. Further improvements were necessary following the Baedeker raid of 1942 when it became the most damaged of the school houses. A photograph exists which shows just how extensive the destruction was, and full restoration was not possible until after the war. Fortunately term had not begun so there were no casualties, apart from the house dog which ran back into the burning house to rescue its newly born puppies and died in the attempt. Boarders found dormitory accommodation in School House which had also been damaged, and the Headmaster’s house, Albany, later to become Wentworth House. Early morning news bulletins reported that St Peter’s School had been destroyed! The end of an era and the beginning of a new one came in 1992 when DJ Watkinson and his wife welcomed thirty-one girls as boarders in the newly refurbished house.

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Rise c1920 Rise -  Bombing 1940s
Rise restored, 1948

School House

School House was already in existence in 1844 when the school was amalgamated with the York Proprietary School, which itself had been started in New Street in 1838 with six boys (though the number had increased to forty when the school moved into the new buildings on August 1st 1838). Originally the Proprietary School boarders lived near the school with their Housemaster, the Rev. WE Harrison, with young and delicate pupils being conveyed in a covered carriage during inclement weather.

With the amalgamation, the boarders moved into the Head Master’s house and he was officially given an usher, who, in return for £40 per annum, looked after the boys and taught in the school. (Previously St Peter’s boarders had lodged with the Head Master in Deangate and Low Petergate.) So the first Head Master of the amalgamated schools, the Rev. William Hey, can be counted as the original Housemaster from 1844 to 1864, in the building where the present Head Master has his office.

In 1853, boarding numbers had increased to 90 so two neighbouring houses in the terrace adjacent to Burton Stone Lane were converted to a second house. This was Lees House, named after its Housemaster, the Rev. John Lees. He remained until 1865 when the house was closed.

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School House


Temple, named in honour of Archbishop William Temple, was the first official house for dayboys who don’t seem to have had a Housemaster until 1922. The full House System was brought into use in 1937 with PS Sykes to oversee the pupils who had hitherto been known merely as dayboys and rather looked down on by the more elite boarders. The House had common rooms on the ground floor of the School House building.