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History of WGSF

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and Wakefield Girls' High School have made a rich contribution to the lives of many boys and girls from West and South Yorkshire.

QEGS is distinct from most other schools in Yorkshire in that it was founded by Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1591 at the request of leading citizens in Wakefield, some of whom formed the first governing body. In 1854 QEGS moved to its present site in Northgate, Wakefield, into premises formerly occupied by the West Riding Proprietary School.

Changing opinions were prevalent during the nineteenth century and a movement for the social and educational emancipation of women gathered pace. The QEGS Governors agreed to pursue this and in 1878 WGHS opened with 59 pupils located in Wentworth House, its current location.

Both QEGS and WGHS are committed to working together as part of Wakefield Grammar School Foundation. Led by our 19 person Governing Body, we aim to ensure that all present and future pupils from Wakefield and beyond can enjoy and benefit from an excellent education.

Key Facts

  • QEGS was founded in 1591, with the Junior School opening in 1910
  • WGHS opened in 1878, with the Junior School opening in 1881
  • Mulberry House opened in 2000 and is the Pre-Prep Department for WGHS
  • Centenary House - the QEGS Pre-Prep for boys age 4-7 opened in September 2012
  • The QEGS School Motto is 'Turpe Nescire' - meaning it is a disgrace to be ignorant
  • The WGHS School Motto is 'Each for All, and All for God'