History of the School


The School was founded in 1873 by Canon John Duncan, the vicar of Calne. He was a man of vision and determination and for over thirty years worked unstintingly to establish St Mary's as an outstanding girls’ school with an Anglican foundation.

John Duncan’s vision was of an excellent academic grounding for girls, offered in an environment where each girl was encouraged to develop her individuality and fulfil her potential. These principles still form the basis of a St Mary’s education today and Old Girls are to be found in all walks of life.

The school has been fortunate to have a series of remarkable headmistresses, each of whom has made her own contribution to the school's unique atmosphere. The spirit of St Mary's Calne goes back to its foundation 140 years ago: a Christian ethos, a passion for drama and music, an enthusiasm for art and sport, a firm commitment to academic study and an insistence on giving every girl the opportunity to fulfil her potential. Consider the Lilies: A History of St Mary's Calne, is a beautifully produced history book which provides a stunning visual archive,and is written by Calne Old Girl and school archivist, Elizabeth Christie. The book explores St Mary's from 1873 to 2013 and is a compelling and fascinating read for all generations of pupils and alumnae.  For further information and to order a copy of the book please click here