St Clare

St Clare was College’s first day girl house. It opened in 1912 in Fauconberg Terrace, which was a row of six houses (leased by College in 1878 and bought in 1891) on the site of the present West Wing. Since 1892, numbers 3 and 4 Fauconberg Terrace had been a home for 20 members of the College teaching staff, but after a new purpose-built staff boarding house (Astell) was opened in Overton Park Road in 1912 the two terrace houses became the Day Boarders’ House. The following year it was named St Clare. It contained a dining room and prep rooms for the day girls, and was also still used as a boarding house for a few staff and for some senior students on the post-school courses which were offered by College at that time. Thus organised, it provided, according to the College Magazine, ‘a good field for practical work of all kinds for the Home Science class’. It does not seem to have had a Housemistress.

St Clare Fauconberg Terrace

In the first years of World War I, St Clare served yet another purpose, that of War Workshop, where countless useful items for the war effort, from sun shields to sandbags, were made by staff and girls in their spare time. In 1917, presumably because of an increased demand for boarding accommodation, St Clare closed as a day girl house and reopened as an overflow boarding house for 20-25 girls at 21 guineas per term. Eight years later, in 1925, the boarders were transferred to St Helen’s and St Austin’s (which at that time were also in Fauconberg Terrace), and St Clare was adapted once again to provide dining-rooms for staff and day girls. This arrangement continued until 1933, when Fauconberg Terrace was demolished and a new day girl dining room was created at Bayshill Court.

The name St Clare then remained unused for some years, during which the day girls were divided by the district in which they lived into Day Girls North, South and West. These ‘houses’ had Housemistresses but no actual buildings of their own. In 1939, the day girls were reorganised into two houses, St Clare and Glengar, but in 1945 these were amalgamated and their names were not used again until 1959. In 1962, number 2 Fauconberg Villas, which had been a boarding house called St Bridget’s, was altered to provide new facilities for the day girls. The St Clare girls were very pleased with the move: ‘We have a Senior room as well as a common room, and two very smart cloakrooms in which we’re allowed to talk – a great boon’ they wrote. In 1969, St Clare and Glengar were joined by Bayshill, the senior day girl house. When 2 Fauconberg Villas was converted into Bursary offices in 1980, the day girls were moved again, this time into common rooms in the main buildings.

In 1984, they at last gained a permanent home, the house now known as Eversleigh in Parabola Road. This building, originally called Marston, had been bought in 1960 for £6,000 and for most of the intervening years had served as the College Sanatorium. When it became the Day Girl Centre in September 1984, the girls themselves decided it should take the name Eversleigh, after one of College’s old boarding houses. By 1999 St Clare and Glengar had grown to 90 girls each, and it was decided that the two houses should be split into three. A new house, Bellairs, was founded in the autumn term of that year and Eversleigh was reorganised internally to accommodate all three junior day girl houses. The senior day girls then moved into a house of their own at Bayshill Court.

HOUSEMISTRESSES

1916-24 Mrs Wrightson
1944-45 Miss B Hebblewhite
1959 Miss U Hacking
1968 Miss C Ashford
1977 Mrs M Dominy
1985 Mrs D Cothey
1991 Mrs P Penhale
2002 Mrs F Weldin
2008 Mrs A Wilson
2018 Mrs J Bacon