St Swithun’s archivist Elly Crookes talks to Julie Dypdal about the school’s eventful history and its fascinating archives-which include letters from Christina Rosetti and William Wilberforce.
Educating girls wasn’t a priority in Victorian England but the pioneering founders of St Swithun’s School in Winchester helped to change that in Hampshire.
By the end of the 19th century its female pupils were studying not just reading and writing but science, economics, engineering and money management. A feisty spirit was encouraged among pupils: when school buildings were requisitioned for troops during the two world wars, the girls played and beat Canadian soldiers at lacrosse and taught GIs to play cricket.
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