Stamford Endowed Schools Digital Archives

Welcome to the Stamford Endowed Schools’ Digital Archives.

We hope this website enables you to reconnect with the rich history of Stamford School, Stamford High School and Stamford Junior School by accessing selected documents from the archives including books, magazines and photographs.


We hope that by delving into these digital archives you will enjoy unprecedented access to the rich history which makes Stamford School, Stamford High School and Stamford Junior School so unique and so special.

The digital archives contain books detailing the histories of the Schools, written by former pupils and staff, back copies of the Stamfordian and SHS magazines (dating back to 1885 and 1910 respectively) and over 6,000 photographs, allowing you to step back in time and vividly imagine school life up to 200 years ago.

Please follow the links (above) to browse the archives. As well as being able to select individual resources, these archives are also fully searchable. Simply click on the ‘Search All/Advanced Search’ option (above) and enter what you are looking for, be it a name, sport, year or building, and you should be presented with every mention of it available in these archives.

If you require more guidance on how to use the search function, or any other function of the website, please refer to the detailed ‘User Guide’ which can be read by clicking the link (below). Alternatively, you can contact the Foundation and we will endeavour to help.

Access to this resource is limited and currently only available to staff and pupils of the Schools and to benefactors who have so generously donated to the Schools. We would please ask that you do not share your login details and please do not share any content without permission from the SES Foundation.

We sincerely hope this resource enables you to enjoy delving into the history of the Schools as much as possible. Please let us know if there are any problems and we would welcome your feedback.



The Stamford Endowed Schools comprises Stamford Junior School (including the Nursery), Stamford High School for girls, and Stamford School for boys. The three Schools together form a diamond structure, with co-educational Junior School learning, single gender classrooms with co-curricular activities between 11 and 16, and a joint SES Sixth Form. Together the Schools have approximately 1600 pupils.

Stamford School was founded in 1532 by William Radcliffe, the alderman of Stamford. He died without issue and left all his money to endow a priest-schoolmaster and to teach grammar in Stamford. An 11th century chapel, a part of St Paul’s Church, was acquired and became the schoolroom. For 339 years, the new School was governed by a private Act of Parliament of 1548/9, then in the 1870s, it fell under a new scheme.

During the nineteenth century, responsibility over the school passed to the Stamford Municipal Charity Trustees. They acted on the suggestion of an investigator from the Schools Inquiry Commission and wrote to the Governors of Browne’s Hospital with a request if they would consider putting forward some surplus revenue towards the School. Some of this money was used to establish a girls’ school. At the time, it was becoming compulsory for children of both genders to receive an education. Stamford High School was founded in the wake of the Elementary Education Act 1876, which decreed that it was the parents’ duty to ensure every child in their family received an efficient education in reading, writing and arithmetic. The girls’ school first opened its doors to 32 girls on 10 May 1877.

Stamford High School was originally intended to serve as a Middle School for girls, but the headmistress, Miss Monro persuaded the Board of Governors to let her establish a Kindergarten; a preparatory class for both boys and girls aged between three and eight years old. As time went by, the numbers of junior school children increased necessitating the need for a separate building. The Governors purchased a house belonging to the Phillips family who owned a local brewery. It was renamed Welland House and became the Junior School. In 1973, a new building was constructed on Kettering Road, and opened in 1975.

These three establishments are scattered throughout the town of Stamford but are overseen by the same Board of Governors. Together, they form the Stamford Endowed Schools, and the history of all three can be found in the SES Archive.



What do we collect?

The Stamford Endowed Schools’ (SES) Archive collects items which are relevant to the history of Stamford Junior School, Stamford High School and Stamford School. We don’t just take in objects from the past. We are always keeping the archive up to date with the latest school magazine, or the latest mention of SES in the press. All new donations are processed, logged and stored within three months of their arrival.

How do we look after this material?

We try to ensure that the SES Archive meets the standard conservation criteria:

  • All our documents are stored in acid-free boxes, and in polyester pockets.
  • Photographs are removed from picture frames.
  • The windows are fitted with blackout material eliminating ultraviolet radiation which can be damaging to documents.
  • All staples are removed, and replaced with brass paper clips.

Why do we collect?

We collect historic material for one reason: to ensure its survival for future generations. In their owner’s cupboards, these items are often buried and forgotten, but in the SES Archive, they will be looked after in a professional way.



How may I visit?

Visits are by appointment. Normally, the archive is open with the presence of the Archivist on Thursdays, 9am-2pm, but we can be flexible and make arrangements to accommodate your visit on a different day.

The archive is located on the ground floor of Stamford School on St Paul’s Street. To reach the archive, you enter the school through the glass doors behind the chapel and go through a door on the left into the Staveley Library. To the right, there’s another door leading to the school’s Development Office. The archive is located here.

All visitors must be signed in at the Development Office on arrival and will be required to wear visitors’ lanyards at all times whilst on school property.

Visitors may…

  • bring in a camera to photograph documents, but the flash must be turned off.

Visitors may not…

  • bring food and drink into the archive, or have them anywhere near the documents.
  • bring pens; all notes should be done in pencil, or on tablets.
  • bring sharp objects, such as scissors, into the archive.

Above all, visitors must handle our documents with care. We recommend that they clean their hands before handling any material. Latex, latex alternative, and cotton gloves are supplied on site.



If you are unable to visit the SES Archive, then we can offer a couple of alternate ways in which you can search for the information you are looking for:

Digital Archive:

We have a digital archive which holds books on the history of the Schools written by Old Stamfordians and former members of staff, school magazines dating as far back as 1886, and over 6,000 photographs.


To contact the archives please email or phone 01780 750032