Our History

Our History

Ewell Castle Mansion

Ewell Castle School is located in the attractive village of Ewell. The Senior School site of some fifteen acres was once part of the grounds of Nonsuch Palace built by Henry VIII. The Senior School is housed in a castellated mansion in Church Street, The Castle, was built in 1814 for Thomas Calverley and although sale particulars in 1917 attribute the design of the The Castle to the architect Sir Jeffrey Wyatt, a Georgian architect who pioneered the Gothic revival, there is now general agreement that the architect was indeed one Henry Kitchen who lived in Church Street. On Calverley's death in 1842 the house passed to his nephew whose family chose not to live there but leased it to James Gadesden. In 1846, while staying in Ewell, John Everett Millais was invited to a dance held by the Gadesdens at Ewell Castle. Gadesden, who came from Scotland, had invited a fellow Scot called Gray and his family. This was where Millais met Euphemia (Effie) Gray, the girl whom he was eventually to marry - after an interlude in which she met and married John Ruskin, then left him and in May 1847 returned, older and wiser to Ewell Castle.  A year after the annulment of her marriage in 1854 she was able to marry Millais. Millais maintained his association with Ewell and at the end of June 1851, Holman Hunt and Millais visited Ewell to find backgrounds for two new paintings which they had in mind - Ophelia for Millais, and The Hireling Shepherd for Hunt. The Gadesdens were able to buy Ewell Castle in 1852 for £43,000. In 1909 the Gadesden family sold Ewell Castle and after several owners, who each left their mark, it became an independent school in 1926.

Ewell Castle School

In 1926 Ewell Castle Independent School was established at The Castle, from which the school takes its name, although the origins of the School go back to two earlier schools, Leicester House and Barrow Hedges, both then located in Carshalton.

In 1949 Chessington Lodge was acquired, initially as sleeping quarters for staff at Bourne Hall School and as an annexe to the school for kindergarten classrooms. However, in 1953, after the closure of Bourne Hall School, Ewell Castle took over the Lodge, and Forms 1 and 2 moved down from The Castle. In 1964 Form 3 also moved to the Lodge, henceforth known as the Junior School. New facilities were completed at Chessington Lodge in 1985 and the Nursery was opened.

The Preparatory School has two sites. Early Years, incorporating Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 (3-7 years), are accommodated at Chessington Lodge in Spring Street, a Georgian house just minutes walk from the Senior School. Pupils at Key Stage 2 (7-11 years) are located at Glyn House opposite The Castle, in Church Street. Glyn House is the former Rectory to St Mary's Church, which is used regularly by the school for special assemblies. A Rectory was first established on the site in 1408. However, in 1838, George Glyn - Vicar of Ewell, replaced Parsonage House (1710) with the current building designed by Henry Duesbury 'in the Elizabethan manner'. Landscaped gardens and grounds over some five acres enhance the facility.