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Bowdon Lodge had once been a substantial but derelict house. It had been uninhabited for twenty five years set within spacious grounds on the corner of Cavendish Road and Bowdon Road . In 1908 the site was acquired by Cheshire County Education Authority and most of the old building was demolished. There is reported to have been much opposition to the plan to build a school on this site. It was thought that the tone of the neighbourhood would suffer. ‘To be sold’ signs decorated many of the gardens around.
The school was opened on Monday 4th July 1910. The opening ceremony was performed by His Honour, Judge J K Bradbury, MA., Chairman of the Board of Governors in the presence of the Headmistress, Miss Howes Smith MA., and many local and county dignitaries. On September 14th the school, with two full-time and five part-time staff, opened its doors to sixty pupils. From 1910 to 1931 boys and girls were admitted to the kindergarten and preparatory departments. After this time, only girls attended with 42 girls under the age of ten.
Cricket, tennis and netball were all played on the back lawn, and croquet on the small plot above the terrace, later incorporated into the hall. There were small private gardens below the high brick wall, and seedlings were tended in the greenhouse. The shrubbery was a wonderful rendezvous for hide and seek.
Kindergarten ceased owing to government cuts.
West Wing was opened owing to increased pupil numbers.
On the 14th June HRH The Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles visited school with her former History and English Governess Miss Howes Smith.
A kitchen and dining room, to seat 200 people at the east end of the site replaced cramped dining facilities. There had previously been a small room on the third floor with an overflow in the domestic science room on the floor below.
The hall became inadequate for seating girls for assembly; therefore it was extended from the pillars to the French windows. This meant the loss of the croquet lawn.
The 1944 Education Act introduced a selection system whereby children sat a common entrance examination at the age of eleven (the ‘eleven plus’). One effect of this on this school was the loss of the Junior Department.
In 1954 the purchase of Breeze Hill was completed. It was to become a centre for Art and Domestic Science
Outbuildings were demolished in Autumn 1964 to make way for the building of the East Wing comprising Science Laboratories, Gymnasium, Domestic Science, Music facilities and Dining Hall. In 1966, the facilities were opened by Lady Bromley-Davenport. The opening ceremony was performed in the Dining Room. Half the school was assembled in the Dining Room and the rest saw the ceremony on close circuit television in the new Gymnasium.
Local Authority boundary changes meant that the school passed from the care of the founding Cheshire County Council Education Authority to the Borough of Trafford with a consequent change of name to Altrincham Grammar School for Girls.
In September 1977, after years of planning, the Sixth Form Centre on the Devisdale came into use.
Trafford Borough Council acquired Fairlie, which was a derelict building, and new classrooms were developed.
Fairlie was officially opened on 14th October 1994 by Mrs D E Delides who was Headmistress from 1981 – 1991.
In April the school became grant maintained.
In September the school became a foundation school.
Temporary classrooms at Fairlie were demolished to make way for a new block.
A new block with improved access was opened at Fairlie for Drama, Mathematics, ICT, Technology and English.
The old Gymnasium was refurbished in 2002 to make way for what is now the Library (West Wing). It was opened in 2003 by HRH Prince Charles.
Building work for the new Science laboratories and reception commenced in 2006. This meant knocking down the walkway between the main building and East Wing. A new Multi-Media Language suite was also created; previously this area had been an Art room. The new building was opened in 2007.
The school celebrated its 1910-2010 centenary. We were honoured and thrilled to receive a visit from HRH the Princess Royal to open the Centenary Garden. Other events included a blessing at St. Mary's church follwed by an Edwardian themed afternoon, a Centenary Concert at the prestigious Bridgewater Hall and a Centenary Ball organised by the PTA.