Godolphin and Latymer School
Iffley Road

W6 0PG

Coordinates51°29′43″N 0°13′48″W / 51.4953°N 0.2301°W / 51.4953; -0.2301Coordinates: 51°29′43″N 0°13′48″W / 51.4953°N 0.2301°W / 51.4953; -0.2301
TypeIndependent day school
MottoFrancha Leale Toge (Free and Loyal Art Thou)
Established1861; 160 years ago (1861) as a boys' school; re-established 1905 as a girls' school
Local authorityHammersmith and Fulham
Head MistressFrances Ramsey
Age11 to 18
Number of students800
Color(s)Red   Grey  
Former pupilsOld Dolphins
WebsiteGodolphin and Latymer School
The former church of St John the Evangelist by William Butterfield now forms part of the school
The former church of St John the Evangelist by William Butterfield now forms part of the school

The Godolphin and Latymer School is an independent day school for girls in Hammersmith, West London.

The school motto is an ancient Cornish phrase, Francha Leale Toge, which translates as "free and loyal art thou". The school crest includes a double-headed white eagle, Godolphin in Cornish signifies a white eagle.[1]

The Good Schools Guide called the school a "Very strong academic school with a friendly atmosphere, an outstanding head and a broad range of extra-curricular activities."[2]


A private Act of Parliament in 1697[3] modified the wills of Sir William Godolphin (1634–96) in favour of his nephew Francis and niece Elizabeth and devoting £1,520 to charity. In 1703 this fund was used to purchase land west of St James's, Piccadilly, for education and other charitable purposes and, independently, in 1707 Elizabeth founded the Godolphin School, Salisbury, from her own resources. In 1856 the Godolphin School for boys was opened in Great Church Lane, Hammersmith. In 1862 The school relocated to the current Iffley Road site. Though initially successful, it closed in 1900.[4][5] In 1905 it reopened as an independent day school for girls, associated with the Latymer Foundation and taking the name of the Godolphin and Latymer School.

From 1906 onwards it received grants from the London County Council and the Local Education Authority for equipment, library books and buildings. In 1939 the whole school was evacuated from London with no forward planning for where the school would stay.[6] In 1951 the school became a state Voluntary aided school under the Education Act 1944, and ceased to charge fees to pupils. After the abolition of the scheme, the school chose to revert to full independent status in 1977 rather than join the state system and turn comprehensive and resumed the charging of fees to pupils.[7]

The Godolphin and Latymer School celebrated its centenary in May 2005 with a service at St Paul's Cathedral. In the same year the nearby church of St John the Evangelist, designed by William Butterfield and built in the late 1850s, was closed and acquired by the School on a 125-year lease. It has been converted into the Bishop Arts Centre, named after Dame Joyce Bishop, who was headmistress between 1935 and 1963.[8]


The house system has six houses:[9]

Notable alumnae

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See also: Category: People educated at Godolphin and Latymer School

The poet and Nobel Laureate W. B. Yeats was a pupil on the current Iffley Road site, attending the Godolphin School between 1877 and 1881.[10]

Notable former pupils of the girls' school, known as Old Dolphins, include:

See also


  1. ^ Hitchins, Fortescue; Drew, Samuel (1824). The History of Cornwall: From the Earliest Records and Traditions, to the Present Time, Volume 2. Penaluna. p. 110.
  2. ^ Profile Archived 8 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine on the Good Schools Guide
  3. ^ 1697 (9 Will. 3). chapter 19 Confirming and establishing the administration of Sir William Godolphin's goods and chattels. "Chronological Tables of the Private and Personal Acts". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  4. ^ "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century". British History Online. Victoria County History. 1969. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Full List of Current Archive Holdings" (PDF). Hammersmith and Fulham Local Studies and Archive. London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b Marshall, Robin D. (June 2004). "Obituary: Winifred May Watkins (1924–2003)" (PDF). The Biochemist. 26 (3): 56–59. doi:10.1042/BIO02603056.
  7. ^ The history of the school
  8. ^ "Saint John the Evangelist Church". London Gardens Online. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  9. ^ "G & L House Polo". Serious Stuff. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  10. ^ Pierce, David (1995). Yeats's Worlds: Ireland, England and the Poetic Imagination. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale. p. 310. ISBN 9780300063233.
  11. ^ "Sarah Alexander: Blonde ambition". The Independent. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  12. ^ Lewis, Roger (18 October 2007). "Carry On Hattie Jacques". The Daily Telegraph.
  13. ^ Sampson, Annabel (23 July 2019). "Everything you need to know about Carrie Symonds". Tatler. Retrieved 8 October 2019.