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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Gower Street School for Girls

Not to be confused with the Gower Street School (Female School of Art)


It was founded by Lucy Harrison as a private school for girls, independent from the Ladies’ College, after the collapse of Bedford College School in 1868

Lucy Harrison became its Head in 1875, and the School flourished (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

Lucy Harrison resigned as Head in 1885 due to ill-health, and was succeeded by her friend, lover, and biographer Amy Greener (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry for Lucy Harrison)

Its most famous pupil was Charlotte Mew (Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon eds, Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to World War II, 2001)

Another notable alumna was Maud Ellen Brimmell, Lady Almoner at the Royal Free Hospital from 1899 until her death in 1908 (The Times, 11 July 1908)

It disappeared some time in the late nineteenth century

What was reforming about it?

It was associated with the move towards university-level education for women

Where in Bloomsbury

It was founded in Gower Street in the late 1860s and remained there until it ceased to exist in the late nineteenth century

It may have been at no. 80 Gower Street, which was the address of Lucy Harrison in the 1870s (first Annual Report, College for Working Women, 1875)

Website of current institution

It no longer exists

Books about it

There is a short account of its history online at the Victorian Web (opens in new window)


This page last modified 19 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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