The Scarborough College Company was formed in 1896 with the aim of founding a boarding school for boys. The principal idea was to promote the idea of a Boys’ school on the Yorkshire Coast where students could be prepared for university, the learned professions and business careers; while enjoying living at the seaside.
On 24 August 1898, Alderman George Lord Beeforth laid the foundation stone and on 18 September 1901 Scarborough College opened its doors for the very first time.
Even though the College only had seven pupils when it opened, things moved rapidly over the next few years. By 1907, seventy boys were enrolled at Scarborough College. Many more were to come but so were some years of severe hardship.
In December 1914, the Yorkshire coast, Scarborough as well as the College came under fire from the German fleet. The Headmaster at that time, Mr Percy Armstrong, announced that the school premises were now unsafe for its staff and pupils. During the Christmas holidays the entire school got evacuated to the Park Hotel in Keswick and remained there for a year.
In 1940, as the Second World War broke out, the RAF swiftly commandeered the building as a training establishment. This meant that once again the school, its staff and pupils had to be evacuated. This time they sought refuse at Marske Hall in Swaledale. Scarborough College remained at Marske Hall until September 1946.
On 10 October 1961, a fire broke out in the school. This started near the sick bay and soon engulfed the cupola. Seventy four College House boys and staff, who were living in the building, were safely assembled on the College lawn in their pyjamas. The fire and water damage was considerable and for the third time in its existence, the school had to be relocated. The repairs resulted in a considerable refurbishment and The College gained a new library. In addition, the observatory tower was rebuilt as it can be enjoyed today.
A landmark change took place in 1972 when the College opened its doors to two girls. Lindsey Grimstone and Vanessa Gibbon were the two girls that transformed this traditionally Boys’ school to the Co-Educational school it is today. The number of girls increased dramatically in the following years and for a long time, the school has maintained a near 50/50 split boys and girls.
In 2000 work began on the new junior school on the Filey Road campus. Lisvane Prep School, which was located on Sandybed Lane, was sold and by February 2000, the Scarborough College Junior School relocated to its new premises on Filey Road, where it is today. The relocation of the Junior School – now the Prep School – meant that all staff and pupils we located on one site.
Later, in 2012, Scarborough College and Bramcote Prep School merged, which benefitted both schools and the town. It ensured one outstanding school on the North Yorkshire coast, providing independent education for boys and girls, aged 3-18 in either a day or boarding environment.
Redevelopment on Weaponness House was completed in September 2019, following the refurbishment of Denys Crews House in the previous year. With modern features such as sensored lights, USB plug sockets and bespoke boarding furniture; these two boarding houses put Scarborough College at the very forefront of boarding developments.
At the end of summer 2019, the cricket- and rugby pavilion burnt down due to animals biting through the wiring. The iconic pavilion had stood since 1911 and was home to many stories and memories, lovingly shared by Old Scardeburgians and current pupils. Currently, plans are afoot to restore the pavilion, so that these memories are given a rightful place and new memories can be created.
In March 2020 the College faced its longest period of closure since the Second World War as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Due to the subsequent lockdown, almost all teaching was carried out online. Scarborough College hosted its first ever virtual open day and both the GCSE and IB Examinations were cancelled and replaced by teacher predicted grades, historical grades and an algorithm to safeguard fairness.
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