History of Stormont

Stormont School has been an independent girls’ prep school in Hertfordshire for over 75 years but not always on its present site in Potters Bar.  In the early days of the Second World War Miss E.M. Trew, Principal of Queenswood School, was asked by residents of the Brookmans Park area to take day pupils. In January 1940 a day school for boys and girls was opened at Mymwood, the Queenswood Preparatory House, with Miss Hilda Dyson as Headmistress. By 1944, when Mymwood was again required for Queenswood junior boarders, there were over 50 day pupils, and Stormont was opened on its present site.

The main house was built and completed in 1874 by Robert Kirkcaldie on his return to England, who was a successful retailer. He built a grand store called Kirkcaldie & Stains with Robert Stains, an English retailer on Lambton Quay, New Zealand after starting his travels in Australia.   He was born in Kennoway, Fifeshire in 1836 and married Rosa, with whom he went on to have six children; two daughters, Catharine and Jeannie, twin sons Robert and William and James and Rosa.    John Ross was the landowner and sold it to Robert who built the current house which is now Stormont Prep.   The veranda was laid with an exquisite Minton tile mosaic which is still in place.  Inside above the main staircase the stained glass window has survived and illustrates the things that Robert Kirkcaldie held most dear.  An intricate pattern of thistles (for Scotland) provided a vibrant border and a centre panel across the middle of which runs the phrase “East, West, Hame’s Best” – a reference to his travels across the globe.  There are eight red roses in the centre panel, a tribute to his beloved wife,  Rosa.  Robert Kirkcaldie’s devotion to his spouse was also reflected in the name he chose for their new home – Villa Rosa.

In 2019 Stormont School celebrated its 75th Anniversary. Current pupils and parents, as well as former pupils returned to visit, as did a number of past colleagues. Each class chose a decade and dressed up for the occasion, the SPA held a party in the Johnston Sports Hall at the weekend for families and friends. Neighbours, local businesses, children’s nurseries and local schools were invited to the art exhibition and staff arranged an afternoon of games and fun with the girls. It was a very special time to mark this very special occasion.

In 2019 Stormont School celebrated its 75th anniversary.

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