Historic school site put up for sale

Princess Helena College in Preston closed in August 2021

Princess Helena College in Preston closed in August 2021 - Credit: Savills

The former home of a 200-year-old boarding school that closed its doors earlier this year is now up for sale.

The historic Princess Helena College, a co-educational school in Preston, shut to students at the end of August.

United Learning took over the school in 2018 when it was on the verge of closure. Despite significant investment, the impact of the pandemic meant that the school was unable to reverse its long-term decline.

Princess Helena College in Preston, on the outskirts of Hitchin, was founded in 1820

Princess Helena College in Preston, on the outskirts of Hitchin, was founded in 1820 - Credit: Savills

The site is now up for sale, which includes the main Grade-II listed manor house, teaching block, science block and sports hall, together with ancillary buildings, stores and a pair of residential dwellings.

The wider grounds comprise of formal gardens, an outdoor heated swimming pool, tennis courts, playing fields and woodland.

The old Princess Helena College site boasts a heated outdoor pool and tennis courts

The old Princess Helena College site boasts a heated outdoor pool and tennis courts - Credit: Savills

Princess Helena College was founded in 1820 for the daughters of Anglican clergy and officers who had served during the Napoleonic Wars. It moved from London to its current site on the outskirts of Hitchin in 1935, and was one of the first academic schools for girls aged 11 to18.

Parents of students at Princess Helena were told that the decision to close the school was “purely a reflection of its historic and current financial problems and the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic on current and future demand for places”.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter