The school opened in 1884 to provide an education for girls of BC families comparable to that for boys at Shebbear. William Bryan Reed was Governor until 1909. The first headmistress, Rachel Asemath Wooldridge, married the widowed Reed in 1890. The school was strong enough to survive a devastating fire in 1920 and to be regarded as the girls' grammar school of North Devon. In 1951 it was taken over by the Board of Management. Under Mary Shaw (headmistress 1955-1976) boarders and day girls were brought into closer relationship and the first male teacher was appointed. Following the withdrawal of the government's Direct Grant regulations it reverted to full independence in 1976. A proposal to merge with Shebbear School in 1992 came to nothing.
The only Methodist girls' school to admit senior boys, in 2007 it had 208 boarding and day pupils aged 3-18. Two years later a merger between Edgehill College and Grenville College (a Woodard School, also in Bideford) on the Edgehill site was renamed Kingsley School. The new school remains fully under the control of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust.
Entry written by: DBT
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