"In the forty-sixth year of Victoria's reign, in Gladstone's second ministry, a year after the British occupation of Egypt, the year before Gordon's arrival in the Sudan, the year after Charles Darwin died, the year before the Third Reform Bill, the year of the Parcel Post, of the new Forth Cantilever Bridge, of the death of Fitzgerald of Rubiyat fame, a year when Tennyson (busy on "The Idylls of the King) was Poet Laureate and Browning and Arnold, the Rosettis, DG and C Morris and Swinburne, Meredith, Hardy and Bridges were, First and Last Victorians together all alive - 1883, when Denmark Road was Hangman's Lane and our present grounds, farmland, when Worcester Street was a stately thoroughfare and the coach for the North set off from The Coach and Horses in Hare Lane, in a memorable year for Gloucester, its citizens took a step that links them to us and founded The Girls' Lower School in Barton Street."
Mynd House in Barton Street was rented, adapted and refurbished. Miss Hickey was appointed on 1st May 1883 to the post of Headmistress of the new Girls’ Lower School, just down the road from Suffolk House.
Miss Hickey was the first Headteacher of the newly started Girls’ Endowed School in Mynd House. There were 50 pupils and 3 teachers. Six months after the school opened there were 92 pupils. By January 1885 there were 150 pupils and 5 teachers.
In 1885 a plot of land became available in Denmark Road (before 1863 known as Gallows Lane) and this was suggested as a suitable spot for the girls’ school.
In July, Miss Hickey and staff left.
In March 1895, 12 ladies were interviewed from a selection of 64, who had applied for the post of Headmistress.
Miss Barwell was appointed. She was Headteacher for 24 years. She started the school library. She also introduced medals for punctuality and regular attendance. She started in August 1895.
Gallows Lane (now Denmark Road)
By ERP Berryman
No trace of its murky past
Is borne on the wind that blows
Down Denmark Road, which now consists
(Or I see from the agents’ lists)
Of highly respectable
Houses in orderly rows
But once at the end of the lane
A menacing gallows stood,
Where they strung you up if you stole a sheep,
And folk would see as they rose from sleep
A body adorning
Midsummer morning –
An awful warning
To obey the laws and be good.
But there’s nothing like that today,
Nothing to make you frown;
Clean as a whistle and smart as paint,
Just go and see for yourself if it ain’t
Swept and garnished,
Polished and varnished,
Nothing is tarnished,
The smartest street in town.
Colonel E R P Berryman DSO TD
Commanded 70th (YS) Bn The Queen's Royal Regiment from September 1940 to March 1942.
Edward Rolleston Palmer Berryman served with 2/39 Garhwal Rifles when brigaded with 2/5th Bn The Queen's Royal Regiment in Mesopotamia in 1918. He commanded 70th (YS) Bn The Queen's Royal Regiment from September 1940 to March 1942. He was awarded the DSO during the 1914-18 War. He died on 16th May 1964.