Howell's School occupies 120 acres of stunning scenery in the Vale of Clwyd in North Wales. It is tranquil and rural, yet only forty five minutes from the ancient roman city of Chester, and one hour from both Liverpool, City of Culture for 2008, and Manchester with its international airport.
In many respects a Howell's education is like its buildings. The enduring values of traditional discipline, respect, tolerance and academic rigor might be the public face of Howell's School, but within, its unique approach to nurturing each individual pupil is firmly in the vanguard of current educational thought.
As a result the grand façade houses both the kind of interiors you would expect; and some you might not. Howell's is the only school in the country to boast both an Equestrian Centre and Sailing Centre, a heated swimming pool plus a specially developed integrated sports, dance and music programme to allow each child to fully exploit her talents.
Howell's is one of the few schools in the country to boast a fully equipped professional recording studio. The opportunities for girls to make use of this facility are many and varied and it also plays host to professional musicians who use the studio on a regular basis.
Howell's is very pleased to have it's own watersports facilities at Llyn Brenig, situated within easy reach of the school on the Denbigh Moors. All pupils have the opportunity to try canoeing, kayaking and dinghy sailing under the expert and watchful eyes of our outward bound instructors. The lake is also a popular location for PTA barbeques, when the whole family can take advantage of this beautiful area of North Wales.
Thomas Howell was a Welshman and a merchant draper of the city of London who made his fortune trading with Spain and Portugal from 1519 to 1527. When he died in 1537, he bestowed in his will 12,000 golden ducats (about £2,700) to the Drapers’ Company, the proceeds of which were to be given every year for ever to four maiden orphans of his lineage. If such could not be found, then to other maiden orphans at the discretion of the Master and Wardens.
The Drapers’ Company had great difficulty in getting this money from Spain. Eventually, in 1541, £570 was received in cash as well as a consignment of wine and oil, which was sold to young men of the Company. There still remained a large sum of money to be recovered and the services of the Bishop of London were enlisted. The money was invested in freehold property in the City of London.
The difficulty of the administering the Trust began at once, because it was usually hard to find orphan maidens of Howell’s kin. In the year 1853, more than three hundred years after the death of Thomas Howell, an Act of Parliament was passed, empowering the Court of Chancery to extend the Trust to the establishment of girls’ schools in Wales. Two girls’ schools in Llandaff and Denbigh were built in 1858, and were both carried on by the Drapers’ Company.
The School was originally built for fifty-five boarders and fifty day girls. A system of houses was afterwards begun, in addition to the original block of buildings. There was three; Haulfryn, Bodgwilym and Minffordd.
In 1914 a wing was built, containing additional classrooms, music rooms, gymnasium and an Assembly Hall which has now become the Library.
In 1931, another milestone was reached with the opening of extensive new buildings, the Great Hall, the Dining Hall and Kitchens, and three new Houses; St George’s, St Andrew’s and St Patrick’s.
From time to time many other improvements have been made, such as a sports pavilion, swimming bath, and tennis courts.