Founded by Thomas Foley, an ironmaster from the Great Witley Estate in Worcestershire, Old Swinford Hospital opened in the late summer of 1670. Foley’s vision was the education of 60 boys from ‘poor but honest’ families drawn from local parishes.
Upon his death, the school was left to a group of trustees, also known as Feoffees, Thomas’ sons among them. This tradition has survived the centuries and the Feoffees, including three direct descendants of the founder, retain an active involvement in the school today.
In the mid-1950s, Old Swinford Hospital became a voluntary aided school, which coincided with a period of expansion, including the addition of a Sixth Form and gymnasium. The boarding provision was extended in the 1980s and in 2004, girls were admitted as Day Students in the Sixth Form for the first time.
As a testament to the school’s stability and success, there have been only seven
Headmasters since 1882. The latest, Mr Paul Kilbride, took up the position in 2014.
The Millennium Window
The stained glass in the Millennium Window featured in the photograph above was commissioned by the Feoffees of Old Swinford Hospital. The glass was made by Norgrove Studios of Bentley, Redditch according to a design by Clare Johnson. The window was dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Selby, Lord Bishop of Worcester on Tuesday 15th February, 2000.