History

 

Housed in an impressive Victorian mansion set in 15 acres of grounds, the large school site is divided into three separate units, Early Years (3 months – 4 years), the Preparatory School (4 – 11 years) and the Senior School (11 – 18 Years).

The house, Battenhall Mount, was built in the mid 1860s and substantially extended 30 years later by Sir Percy Allsopp. Money was lavished on the exterior, the house being built in the Italianate style popularised by Prince Albert. The family did not enjoy their beautiful house for long. The family business failed and the house was sold. During the First World War the house was used as a Convalescent Home.

In 1933, the house was offered for sale. The Sisters of St. Marie Madeleine Postel, a French teaching order with a convent in Reading, wished to establish a convent and school in Worcester. They came to look at the house, but it was rejected by the French Superiors from the mother house as much too ornate for a convent.

However, the asking price was so low and the house in such good condition, that the superiors eventually laid aside their reservations. The certain future of this grand old house was assured in January 1934 when seven sisters arrived to take possession of Mount Battenhall, with a leg of mutton to tide them over the first week before opening the doors to its first four pupils, one of which was Margaret Elgar, the great grand niece of Sir Edward Elgar.

As pupil numbers expanded the site was developed to include a purpose built Senior School which now houses up-to-date facilities to deliver a 21st century education. A large Victorian property opposite was purchased for the development of the Prep School. The stables and carriage house have been expertly modernised to provide, what would appear to be, a purpose-built light and airy Early Years Department.

The site has been further developed to include 3 gymnasia, all-weather netball courts, hockey pitch, tennis courts and athletics track.

St Mary’s is part of a large international foundation and has sister schools in almost every continent as well as on our doorstep in Reading. St Mary’s welcomes pupils from all Christian denominations and other religions, thus celebrating an inclusive school community.