Roderic

Roderic was a substantial Georgian house on the south side of Suffolk Square, it was used as a College boarding house for a century or more.

The house was leased in 1883 and was not purchased until 1924. In 1929 a new wing was built on. It had the services of much-loved long-serving housemistresses in its early days: the two Misses Draper were there for 28 years, from 1883 to 1911.

Roderic Suffolk Square

Roderic was always among the ‘better’ boarding houses for which higher fees were charged until a standard rate was introduced in 1933. (A girl who was at College in Miss Beale’s time recalled later that ‘Roderic girls were considered very stand-offish and rich’.) 

At the outbreak of war in 1939 all the College buildings, including the boarding houses, were requisitioned by the War Office, and the boarders consequently had to be found temporary rented accommodation in various large empty houses in and around Cheltenham. College itself and some of the houses were given back within a few months, but Roderic remained in Government hands until 1941. The boarders, who had been divided up by age-group rather than by house (so that they could have some of their lessons where they lived) were not all able to return immediately to their original houses even then, and it was only after the war ended that life in the boarding house was restored to normal.

Roderic continued to flourish for another 40 years. Its eventual demise in 1984, which caused much dismay at the time, was attributed mainly to worsening traffic conditions in the Montpellier area through which girls had to pass on their way to and from College. To the regret of many, College was not even able to transfer the name of Roderic to other houses when the original buildings were sold for conversion into flats. This has now been rectified and since September 2014 the new Roderic, on Christchurch Road, has been home to around 20 Sixth Form girls and their Housemistress Miss Washbourne.

HOUSEMISTRESSES 

1883  Miss Draper
1911  Miss Tancred
1918  Mrs Barton
1925  Miss Gray
1933  Miss M Spence
1941  Miss Gem
1946  Miss Darroll
1947  Miss G Brown
1949  Miss E Glazier
1961  Miss A MacDonnell
1964  Mrs M Adrian-Vallance
1976  Mrs J Sowman

NEW RODERIC

2014  Miss H Washbourne