Glenalmond's History

Glenalmond College was founded by William Ewart Gladstone who went on to become one of Britain's most famous Prime Ministers.


Along with co-founder James Robert Hope, Gladstone wanted to establish a College where young men might be trained for the ministry of the Scottish Episcopal Church and where the sons of the laity could be educated and brought up in the faith and tradition of the Church.





The first Warden (Headmaster) of what was originally known as Trinity College Glenalmond was the Rev Charles Wordsworth, the nephew of the poet William Wordsworth, who founded the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race.

There were only 14 boys in the school when it opened on 4th May 1847. The first pupil, Lord Schomberg Henry Kerr, arrived a day early by mistake and spent the extra day helping the newly arrived Warden to unpack his large collection of books.






By the 1880s, numbers had increased but the College was in a precarious financial position after two major fires which caused substantial damage.


The boys and teachers had to put the fires out as it took so long for the horse drawn fire engines to arrive but no-one was allowed to miss any lessons!





The Warden in the 1890s, John Huntley Skrine, transformed the school's fortunes, doubling the number of pupils and building new accommodation and classrooms. When WE Gladstone visited for the Golden Jubilee it was a time of great celebration and optimism.


There was another period of great expansion under Warden Frederick Matheson in the 1920s. By the end of his tenure, there were sufficient classrooms and accommodation for 200 boys and a new house was built for the Warden.





Former pupils known as OGs (Old Glenalmonds) have served in all the major conflicts since the school's foundation. In 1904 the library was built as a memorial to the eleven OGs who lost their lives in the Boer War. Memorials to the 157 OGs who lost their lives in the First World War and 102 in the Second World War can be found in the Chapel. The picture shows the official opening in 1906.

 Glenalmond Library 1906 Opening




Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited twice - once as Queen in 1947 when she led the Centenary celebrations and again in 1966 when she came to open the new swimming pool and gym.


More recently, Glenalmond has seen the opening of a new boys' boarding house in 2007, a new Science Centre in 2001, new girls' boarding houses in 1996 and 1990 as well as a new Technology Centre in 1986.


Girls were admitted to the Sixth Form in 1990 - a decision that was taken in keeping with a number of other schools at the time because of the perceived benefits of co-education - and Glenalmond went fully co-educational in 1995. Now there are about 170 girls who live in three houses and 230 boys in five houses




A bronze statue of Gladstone, beautifully crafted by the sculptor Jemma Pearson, was unveiled by his descendant Sir William Gladstone in 2010 and keeps a watchful eye on pupils as they walk through Front Quad.


Glenalmond College is affectionately known as 'Coll' to those who have lived and learned here. The school motto is 'Floreat Glenalmond.' It was first coined by WE Gladstone and is still in use today; 'Let Glenalmond Flourish.'