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History of Stonar School

Stonar, now 128 years old, was originally established at Stour House in Sandwich and can be traced back as far as 1895.

In 1920, Stour House School was taken over by three joint heads: Miss Gladys Crook, Miss Isabel Blackwell and Miss Edith Joslin, affectionately known as "the Three". They were pioneering educators with a progressive outlook and they expanded the school to the extent that it outgrew its premises. Everything was packed up and moved over the bridge to Stonar House to be "close to the sea, smoke-free air and spacious accommodation." From then on it became Stonar House School.

With its newly acquired extensive grounds, the first Stonar pony arrived – Tufty. By 1934 riding was firmly established at Stonar House.

Stonar House remained the school's home until 1939 and the outbreak of the Second World War, when the MOD requisitioned the land and the entire school community was forced to decamp. Luckily, one of the Heads had relatives in Wiltshire who alerted her to Cottles Park. The school was packed up again and moved to its current location. The school ponies, a goat called Ambrosia, a dog, a cat and a bowl of goldfish moved too.

We were a tired and almost exhausted group of Stonarites who arrived late evening at our new domicile – Cottles Park – was it to be worth it in the future? The present Stonar School, Cottles Park must be the answer."

Miss Blackwell

The 'Three' continued to run Stonar until they retired in the 1960s. They valued equality of opportunity and offered a diverse range of subjects. They also placed great emphasis on outdoor education and personalised attention for each pupil.  Their successor Miss Doreen Denmark expanded and developed the school for 20 years, until her retirement in the 1980s.

Since then, Stonar and its unique Equestrian Centre have flourished, with a committed staff, strong governance and excellent facilities within its superb parkland setting. 

Founded as a single-sex independent, non-denominational school, we decided to accept boys throughout the Prep School. Following this successful transition, 2016 was our first year of Senior co-education and the school is now fully co-educational.

Stonar was acquired by the Globeducate Group in 2013, a leading international schools group that is committed to developing and enhancing the educational provision at Stonar, while ensuring it continues to retain what makes it special. Crucially, the school's pervading ethos from its earliest days, of warmth, support, a 'can-do' attitude and a pioneering spirit are as strong as ever!

Black and white photo of Stonar riders in Equestrian Centre circa 1930