“Richmond County School for Girls (sometimes referred to as Richmond Grammar School for Girls) was once noted for having cricket in its curriculum; which resulted in the emergence from the school of a number of female cricketers, some of whom went on to play for England.
The school had its origins in the Ladies’ Establishment established in 1861 on Kew Foot Road in Richmond, Surrey. In 1865 the school moved to Matson House in the Marshgate area of Richmond and thus became Matson College. Matson College was referred to as a college “For Gentlemen’s Daughters”.
In 1886 the Church Schools’ Company became the owners and the school became Richmond High School for Girls. After the 1902 Education Act, the responsibility for the school passed to Surrey County Council in conjunction with Richmond Borough Council. A new school building was then constructed on a road named Parkshot in Richmond and this was opened in 1909 as Richmond County School for Girls.
When the United Kingdom Government passed the Education Act 1944 a Tripartite System was established dividing Secondary schools into three categories, Grammar schools, Technical schools and Modern Schools. Richmond County School for Girls became a grammar school, leading to the colloquial name of Richmond Grammar School for Girls.
In the early 1970s, the Borough of Richmond reorganised its education with the setting up of a number of comprehensive schools and, as a result, Richmond County School for Girls was closed in 1974, the remainder of the school joining with similarly placed Shene Grammar at the Shene site.
All girls were members of one of four day houses, each house being named after an animal that had some connection with Richmond, through its heraldry or its history: Lion (Red); Hinde (yellow); Swan (blue); Heron (Green).
The school was unusual as a girls’ school in its promotion of cricket as the school sport. A number of girls went on to play at senior level and some played for their country including Shirley Driscoll and Doreen Cole who both played cricket for England. The school was also visited by the legendary Rachael Heyhoe Flint.
Other Notable Alumnae:
• Janet Ellis – Television presenter (presented Blue Peter), and mother of Sophie Ellis-Bextor
• Patricia Hornsby-Smith – Conservative politician
After its closure as a school the building was used almost immediately by a lending and reference service. The Parkshot site is now occupied by Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College.”