Woolverstone Hall is a beautiful, large country house, now in use as Ipswich High School for Girls, educating over 500 3-18 year olds. The hall was built in 1776 for London property developer William Berners by the architect John Johnson. Johnson’s design is classically Palladian, consisting of a central block with the main living areas, flanked by two smaller wings containing the domestic offices: kitchen, larders, laundry, brewhouse and so on, which made the typical English country house a self-sufficient community.
The site of Berners’s house is typical of the 18th century interest in the landscape and appreciation of beautiful views. The back of the house overlooks the River Orwell and, unlike many 18th Century houses of greater repute, Woolverstone Hall is as attractive from the back, as it is from the front.
The Woolverstone Hall logo has, rather confusingly, two monkeys in it. William Berners kept monkeys as pets and according to local folklore, they raised the alarm when Woolverstone Hall caught fire, which allowed the family to escape unharmed. In tribute to his pets, Berners had images and statues of monkeys made, to adorn the Woolverstone Hall estate.
The Woolverstone Hall site was sold to Oxford University in 1937 and was requisitioned as a naval training establishment during World War II. In 1950, the Inner London Education Authority acquired the estate and set up Woolverstone Hall School the following year. The school was a small boarding grammar school for boys. School fees were payable on a sliding scale with a sizeable proportion of pupils who paid nothing and had been identified by their teachers as having the potential to thrive in this special environment. The school became a comprehensive in 1977 and continued to educate London boys until it closed as a boys’ school in 1990.
In 1992, Woolverstone Hall was sold to the Girls’ Day School Trust and since then, the school has been extensively refurbished and redeveloped and is now a leading independent girls’ day school, offering academic excellence for pupils aged 3-18.
Weddings and events at Woolverstone Hall
Woolverstone Hall is open for weddings and is very flexible when it comes to choosing menus and other details. The wedding ceremony can be held in the grounds of Woolverstone Hall, in the beautiful St Michael’s Church, or a civil ceremony can be held in Woolverstone Hall itself.
To find out more about this enchanting venue and to book a private tour please see: www.woolverstonehall.co.uk/ and www.facebook.com/woolverstoneweddings Tel: 01473 201039
Ipswich High School for Girls
Facilities at the school include a theatre, Astroturf pitches, swimming pool and newly renovated music department. The school’s site reflects its identity: a mix of heritage and tradition embedded within a forward-thinking ethos and dynamic curriculum and timetable. The schools fosters a warm and friendly environment, offering extensive extra-curricular activities ensuring the girls blossom at every stage of their school journey. With the support of the Girls’ Day School Trust, the school’s vision and ambition is to educate girls to become resilient, positive and successful young women, ready to embrace the challenges of the future.
Ipswich High School, Main Rd, Ipswich IP9 1AZ | T: 01473 780201 | W: ipswichhighschool.co.uk