The King's High School For Girls
(also called simply King's High
or KHS) is an independent school
in Smith Street
. There are currently 550 girls in years 7-13 (ages 11-18). One of its main feeder schools is Warwick Preparatory School, commonly called The Squirrels
, which takes girls
from the ages of 3 to 11 and boys
up to the age of 7.
Plans for a girls' school in Warwick
were drawn up as long ago as 1875, but the school could not get underway until 1879. In this year boys
from The King's School, Warwick, later to become known as Warwick School
, who were being taught in Landor House, the modern site of the girls' school and the birth-place of the poet Walter Savage Landor
, finally moved to their new buildings south of the River Avon
. KHS, The Squirrels and Warwick School now form the Warwick Schools Foundation. The King's High School for Girls has suffered throughout its history from being very short of space, and, since its foundation, has taken over the buildings of two neighbouring schools
. The premises of one of them, the former King's Middle School (which was only in existence from 1875 to 1906), caught fire in 1970. There are now brand new buildings, including a new sixth form
building, completed in 2006, on the former Middle School site. It was opened in December 2006 by Dame Judi Dench
. Plans are in place to build upon existing buildings in the premises to create new Art, Music and DT facilities. The school also has the lease on the former St Peter's Chapel, known as the Eastgate, situated at the top of Smith Street. There is an astroturf
pitch and over six acres of playing fields on land adjoining Warwick School's own playing fields half a mile to the south.
Increasing levels of co-operation between Warwick School and King's High School for Girls has led to the joint teaching of certain AS Level and A Level subjects from September 2004, for example drama, physical education and most recently politics. Girls were also admitted to Warwick School Combined Cadet Force, founded in 1884, in 2003.
- 1879 - 1895 M Fisher
- 1896 – 1913 M Lea
- 1913 – 1921 E M Edgehill
- 1921 – 1922 G Gargner
- 1922 – 1944 V E L Doorly
- 1945 – 1947 G M Wiseman
- 1948 – 1970 F W Hare
- 1970 – 1987 M Leahy
- 1987 – 2001 J M Anderson
- 2001 - present E S Surber
King's High Legends
Supposedly there are two ghosts that haunt King's High School. Both are in occupancy in Landor House. The first, the aptly named Landor Ghost, is, according to legend, the ghost of a young man who haunts the highest rooms of Landor House. In especial he prefers two peculiar conjoining rooms that were rumoured to be an old nursery. Some believe "Landor Ghost" is that of the young Walter Savage Landor
inflicting his final torment on the world
, others believe he is the father
of an orphaned child
born in or near Landor House. The second ghost is that of a young boy
on a bicycle
who, if old boarders stories are to be believed, upon a dare from his schoolmates decided to ride his bicycle down Landor stairs and unfortunately fatally injured himself whilst on this dangerous mission. Though these ghosts seem to keep silent during the term-time and hours of day-light at King's High, some pupils and teachers have remarked upon inexplicable temperature changes and odd noises from the top of Landor. One peculiar incident was a series of recordings made through the night at various points around the school for a physics experiment. It was noticed that although elsewhere all was almost silent throughout the night, Landor House had periodic bumpings and bangings. Perhaps Walter Savage Landor
objects to the idea of his old home being used for the education of young women, or maybe it's just the ancient heating system.
Another legend of King's High is that there is an underground pathway from Landor House to the nearby St. Mary's Church. It is rumoured that this pathway was created during World War II to allow the occupants to escape to the safety of the church during the Blitz. Others dispute this, claiming the underground walkway was there for decades, or even centuries, before this. Many claim this mythical pathway does not exist and naturally a tour around King's High School does not include this interesting sight. But there is a secret trap door from the top of the Eastgate tower leading to the rooms below!