Our Heritage

For over 150 years we’ve believed in preparing for the future. We have a proud history of innovation, academic curiosity and resilience.

Malvern College has a very proud history of innovation, academic curiosity and resilience which has established us one of the best independent schools in the UK.

Many of the College’s traditions and heritage have been around for generations.

The 1800s

  • Malvern College was founded in 1865 when the town was prominent as a spa. It opened with just two dozen boys and half a dozen masters. The railway was beginning to make travelling easier, and the Malvern Hills were reputed to have health-giving qualities that London and the surrounding areas did not possess.
  • In the 1890s, the number of pupils nearly doubled and a further four Houses were added, thus creating the broad outlines of the campus we see today. A separate Chapel was built during the 1890s in which would later be recorded the names of over 600 Old Malvernians and Hillstonians who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

World War II

  • Malvern College continued to expand but, at the onset of the Second World War in 1939, the government requisitioned the premises for the Admiralty. The College found a temporary home at Blenheim Palace where unfolded a glorious part of its history, but on returning to Malvern the school was again evacuated, by order of Sir Winston Churchill, to make way for the government’s Telecommunications and Research Establishment.
  • Ordered out at one week’s notice, the school was quickly housed with Harrow School, in London, despite the risk of bombing. The TRE developed radar whilst at Malvern was vital to the outcome of the war. There is more than a grain of truth in echoing Eton’s Waterloo claim, that the Second World War was won on the playing fields of Malvern College.
  • QinetiQ, the new Research and Development organisation is still sited in Malvern on what was formerly College land.


  • From 1946, Malvern College continued to build new facilities adding a new Design & Technology building at the end of the century. The College also played a significant role in the development of a series of educational projects and, in 1963, it was the first independent school to have a language laboratory. It pioneered Nuffield Physics in the 1960s through the work of John Lewis, the then Head of Science, and at the beginning of the 1990s, was one of the first schools in Britain to offer the International Baccalaureate as an alternative to A levels in the Sixth Form.

Transition to Co-Educational Learning

  • Malvern College became a co-educational school in 1992 when three successful schools (Malvern College, Ellerslie Girls’ School and Hillstone Preparatory School) were brought together.
  • In 2007 the new Carson Centre provided additional classrooms and, in 2008, Malvern College Preparatory School was amalgamated with The Downs School to form The Downs Malvern, located on the magnificent site in Colwall.

The 20th Century

  • In 2009 two brand new boarding houses and an impressive new Sports Complex were added to the school’s facilities. A year later, in November 2010, the two newly refurbished rackets courts were opened and dedicated to the long-serving and much-loved professional, Ron Hughes. This refurbishment gave the school two courts of equivalent match-play standard, a rare provision even in private schools.
  • Malvern College opened its first overseas school, Malvern College Qingdao, in September 2012, with Malvern College Chengdu opening in September 2015. Malvern College Egypt opened in September 2016, closely followed by Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong in 2017 and Malvern College Hong Kong in 2018. Malvern College Tokyo opened in September 2023.
  • In 2015, the College opened a newly reconfigured and refurbished Science Centre, and in 2016, a water-based artificial hockey pitch was built to further enhance the sports provision.
  • In September 2018 the extensive redevelopment of the Rogers Theatre was complete and was the start of the focus on providing outstanding facilities across the arts. In 2019 Malvern College became an All-Steinway School through the generous support of the Malvernian Society, providing best in class grand and upright pianos across the school.