Gorton House

Gorton House

Girls’ day and boarding house (Years 9 – 12)

House Parent Profile

Sarah HolmanSarah joined Blundell’s in the Geography department teaching across all age groups. With her young family and husband Rob they bring a warm and caring approach to Gorton House where anything is possible with the residential tutor, tutor team and support staff to help.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Gorton House is a warm and friendly House where the girls are supportive of each other and there is a strong sense of family. There are many events throughout the year and a chance for all the girls to be involved and mix together along with events with the other Boarding Houses to help everyone enjoy their time at Blundell’s.

The House is led by a strong team of Monitors who help to organise events and who are a key part of helping all the GH girls feel supported, empowered and welcomed into GH. There are many House based competitions which the Monitors and members of GH help to organise and these encourage a strong House spirit and sense of responsibility; they are also good fun! The talents of all girls can be helped to be recognised in Gorton House, we just want everyone to strive to be the best they can.

The House has a mixture of dormitory style rooms from twin to six bedrooms along with three common rooms, which are great to relax and socialise in along with the use of kitchen space, often used to host informal suppers. There are lots of games for the GH girls from table tennis to volleyball alongside a formal computer room and quiet work spaces. The garden, which spans across the back of the House is a wonderful asset for the girls when the sun shines!

House Monitors

Head of House: Rebecca Hamilton

Monitors: Zoe Labdon, Coco Lu, Matilda Huntingford and Jessica Taylor, Kira Schiffer, Claudia Rattigan

Photo Albums

GH house motto - Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Axe-throwing PairGroup SnakeLizard SnakePair PairPumpkins PumpkinsPumpkins PumpkinsPumpkins PumpkinsPumpkins PumpkinsSurfing Send a CowSend a Cow Shoebox appeal


House History

Gorton House was established in 1977 as Blundell’s first girls’ house, with Barry and Anne Wood as Houseparents. Its first location was in Blundell’s Avenue, taking over Thornton House which had been used previously as a boy’s boarding house and as the School Sanatorium. The house was named after the innovative Rev. Neville Gorton, who was Headmaster of Blundell’s from 1934 to 1942, when he was appointed Bishop of Coventry. Gorton House started in 1977 with 16 girls, but by 1981 the number had reached 34, of whom more than half were boarders, and a new location was required.

GH house photo, 1983

GH house photo, 1995

In 1982 the girls and their Houseparents moved into Milestones, which had been the day boys’ house. History was made in 1984 when one of the girls, Juliet Trick, became the first female ‘Head of School’, and two years later another blow was struck when the Gorton House cricketers beat a team led by Charles Noon, with Caroline Robson carrying her bat through the innings. The number of boarders kept rising; from 19 in 1981 to 31 in 1989, and it was decided to add an extension to the house in 1989.

Claire MarshallSiona StockelBarry and Anne Wood retired from Gorton House in 1993 after 16 years of tireless and devoted service. Their last few years had seen Claire Marshall and Nicky Coffin as members of the House: Claire was destined to become a globe-trotting TV presenter and journalist, and Nicky was soon to be the School’s first girl rugby international. The ‘experiment’ of co-education had been so successful at Blundell’s that a second house, North Close, was opened in 1994.

Meanwhile, Andrew and Heather Barlow replaced the Woods as Houseparents of Gorton House. During their first year they had 53 girls and no residential help as there were no flats in the House. Andrew, the School’s Director of Music, soon spotted a young talent in one of the Gorton House girls, Siona Stockel. She was at Blundell’s from 1993 until 1995, from where she went on to study Harp and Voice at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and is now much in demand as a solo performer.

GH house photo, 2003

GH girls won the Blundell’s Public Speaking Trophy in 2003

A further extension was necessary for Gorton House, and when completed was opened by one of its former pupils, Claire Marshall, in September 2003. It contained 10 new bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, and was sufficient to absorb the girls who had been occupying Thornton House. Andrew and Heather Barlow left Gorton House in 2008, having provided a nurturing environment for countless girls during their 15 years as Houseparents. Debbie Hosking then become Houseparent of Gorton House whose caring and warm approach meant that all the girls felt welcome and proud to be a part of a wonderful House. After ten years, Debbie retired from Gorton House with many fond memories and Sarah Holman now takes the helm from September 2018.

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