School History and Archive

Talbot Heath was founded in 1886 by Mary Broad, a pioneer of girls’ education who was determined to offer a first-class liberal education to the daughters of the professional classes.

Bournemouth High School as it was known then, outgrew its original premises and in 1936 the School moved to its current site and was renamed, Talbot Heath.

During its history, 8 headmistresses have led the school, each bringing their own style of leadership and vision, but all united in their desire to maintain the same high standards as Mary Broad. Her original vision and ethos are still at the very heart of Talbot Heath.

Her school was the first in Bournemouth to have a gym and a domestic science department, of which she was most proud. She was also one of the first teachers to take her pupils on trips abroad, organising visits to Germany, Italy, Belgium, France and Switzerland so that her pupils received an education in the broadest sense.

She retired after 39 years as headmistress of the school and spent her remaining days visiting former pupils around the world and receiving them for tea at her home initially in Bournemouth and later in Surrey. When she laid the foundation of the new school in 1935, aged 73, she spoke of her thankfulness that she had lived to see the day and thankfulness for all the friends of the school who had made these buildings possible.

The current site is a “Modernist” gem, having been designed by a pupil of Lutyens and refurbished with interiors from Heals. Eric Gill was commissioned to design the lunettes in the Junior School. The craftsmanship and quality of the school are still evident today and it remains one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the area.

School Archive

We are proud of our history and heritage which is evident from the oak panelled library to our quads, cloisters and wrought iron balconies. The design of our school is unique and reflects the individuality of our school.

We hope you enjoy this fantastic resource and learn a little more about the history of Talbot Heath School.

In time we hope to have our whole school archive available to view digitally, therefore donations will help us achieve this goal. If you would like to donate to the Talbot Heath digital archive project please contact Hayley O’Shea, Marketing Manager

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