I Am Looking For


Bolton School is one of the oldest schools in Lancashire. The origins of the Boys' School can be traced back to at least 1516 when the Bolton Grammar School for Boys was recorded as being "a going concern". In 1644 it was endowed by Robert Lever and so began a long and close relationship with the Lever name.

The Bolton Girls' Day School was established in 1877 and was one of the earliest public day schools for girls in the country. It was quickly renamed to Bolton High School for Girls and moved to the Park Road site (where the current Junior Boys' School stands) in 1891, where it was opened by the suffragist Mrs Millicent Fawcett with 67 girls.

In 1913 Sir William Hesketh Lever, the first Viscount Leverhulme, gave a generous joint endowment to the High School for Girls and the Bolton Grammar School for Boys on condition that the two should be equal partners known as Bolton School (Boys' and Girls' Divisions). On 1 April 1915, the Bolton School Foundation formally came into existence.

William Lever's vision included the building of a new school, with one wing for boys and one for girls. War delayed the construction and it did not begin until 1924: it was only fully completed in 1965. An article by our Head of Foundation, Philip Britton, on the legacy of Lord Leverhulme can be read here.

The School recently celebrated its long history with a year of Centenary activities in 2015, 100 years after the School was re-endowed, and 500th anniversary celebrations in 2016.

A full history of the School can be downloaded from the bottom of the page.

Year Event
ante 1516 Bolton Grammar School for Boys is "a going concern"
1644 Robert Lever endows the Bolton Grammar School
17th Century Robert Lever funds the School's move from its original Tudor building with white washed walls and thatched roof to a site next to Bolton Parish Church
1st October 1877 Bolton Girls' Day School is established: it is one of the earliest public day schools for girls in the country
1891 The Girls' Day School quickly changes its name to Bolton High School for Girls and moves to a site on Park Road (where the current Junior Boys' School stands)
1899 The Bolton Grammar School for Boys moves from its site next to the Parish Church in Bolton to Westbourne (where the current Boys' Division Senior School stands) having merged with Bolton High School for Boys.
1908 A swimming pool, now the Arts and Conference Centre, is constructed on the Chorley New Road site
1913 William Hesketh Lever, Baronet (later the 1st Viscount Leverhulme) realises his dream of amalgamating the Bolton Grammar School for Boys with the Bolton High School for Girls; he re-endows the School and the Bolton School Foundation formally comes into existence on 1 April 1915
1923 The School coat-of-arms is granted
1924 Construction of new buildings on Chorley New Road begins: one wing for the Boys' Division and one for the Girls' Division
1950s The Tillotson Pavilion is erected through the generosity of the Tillotson family
1965 Completion of the building of the main wings of Bolton School on Chorley New Road
1982 Leverhulme Pavilion at Oldfield on Chorley New Road is opened
1993 The Arts & Conference Centre replaces the old swimming pool: it is officially opened by the Princess of Wales
1998 Bolton School Nursery is opened
1998 Beech House After School Club begins and, subsequently, becomes Kidzone
June 2009 Infants move into their brand new school on Dobson Road and the former Beech House is demolished
December 2009 The opening of the Junior Boys' School's £1.5m extension and refurbishments 
September 2010 The new state-of-the-art Junior Girls' School 'Hesketh House' is completed and pupils move in at the start of the new school year
September 2013 The Riley Sixth Form Centre is completed in time for Sixth Formers from both the Boys' and Girls' Divisions to move in at the start of the Autumn Term.
2015 The Centenary anniversary of Lord Leverhulme bringing together Bolton High School for Girls and Bolton Grammar School for Boys on the same site to create the Bolton School Foundation
2016 The 500 year anniversary, celebrating the first mention of Bolton Grammar School for Boys, a forerunner of Bolton School Boys' Division, as "a going concern"
2019 In September 2019, a new £1m all-weather sports pitch was opened at The Leverhulme Pavilion.

Download a full history from our downloads section.

To view and download the book Fanny Eliza Johnson: A Thoroughly Modern Victorian Headmistressclick here.

Robert Levers grammar school

Robert Lever's grammar school

Work on the familiar clock tower, 1928

Work on the familiar clock tower, 1928

The Bolton School campus as of August 2013

The Bolton School campus as of August 2013