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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.
|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 Headmistress, click here.