Elizabeth is one of the College’s newer houses, though it stands on the site of a much older one. Numbers 4 and 5 Bayshill Lawn, a pair of semi-detached houses which had been combined in 1904 into a single boarding house, were destroyed by a German bomb on the night of 11th December 1940. At the time the building was in the hands of the Government, having been requisitioned along with the rest of College at the outbreak of war, and fortunately it was unoccupied.
After the war the Bayshill Lawn girls were dispersed to other houses, and the house was not rebuilt until 1960. College received £47,491 from the Official Damage Commission in compensation for the loss of the old building; the new one cost nearly twice as much.
The modern building which then arose on the site, designed by the College architect Brian Tait, was called Cambray, a name associated with College from its very beginning. (The previous Cambray, a house in Western Road, had just been sold). The most notable incident during this first phase of the house’s existence was the disastrous flood, caused by a burst pipe, that occurred in January 1979. The damage was serious, as the College magazine records: ‘As the house became drier the ceilings sagged, the walls crumbled and the floors rose.’ It remained uninhabitable for the whole of the Spring term, and the 68 girls were scattered among other houses. Twenty-seven younger girls were accommodated next door in what is now Eversleigh but was then the Sanatorium.
In 1981 the house closed again, this time for conversion into a senior boarding house. Once more some of the girls moved into the Sanatorium, which took the name Cambray until it became the Day Girl Centre in 1984 (a new San. had meanwhile opened in Bayshill Court). When the modern house reopened in 1982 it was named Elizabeth. Like the other senior boarding houses, it initially took only second-year Sixth Formers, but since 1985 girls spend both their Sixth Form years in a senior house.
In 2009 growing numbers made it necessary to expand and additional sixth form girls were also accommodated at Gransden, the villa next door to Elizabeth, until 2022, when it was changed to a junior boarding house called The Nest (containing girls from St Austin's and St Helen's).
1982 Miss C Pugh
1985 Mrs E Baker
1988 Miss M Stamp
1993 Mrs C Weston
2001 Mrs V Gregory
2020 Dr Julia Parker and Mr Callum White (shared role as Houseparents)