|Save College House|
The Victorian Mansion known as College House on Morton Terrace, must be one of the greatest examples of early twentieth century philanthropy in Gainsborough. Back in the early part of the 20th century it was given for use by the girls’ high school and it remained in use for education right through the rest of the century, being taken over by the college and Queen Elizabeth's High School (QEHS) when it merged. However, for the past 10 years or so, it has fallen into disuse and inevitably disrepair; the current community of QEHS is keen to reverse this decline and bring College House back into a useable state for both the school and the wider community to once again enjoy the generosity of past generations.
The house was built in 1873 by the Sandars family who have been associated with Gainsborough since 1763 when Samuel Sandars built a maltings on Lea Road. It still retains many of its original features and could be a marvelous, aspirational resource for use by the school and the wider community of Gainsborough.
The governors of QEHS recently took the bold step of adopting College House and taking responsibility for it as it was previously the responsibility of Lincolnshire County Council. This decision was taken with a view to realising the potential that College House can bring for Gainsborough but also to save what is a beautiful and historic building which has so many connections to the people that helped build Gainsborough into what it is today.
We envisage the house being used by QEHS students mainly during the day, with some community and business use as well, but then being used by local community groups in the evenings and at weekends.
However, we obviously need money or expertise in order to realise this vision and this is our next task. Initially, the building needs to be made dry and safe before we can start to renovate the interior so it can be used again.
We are looking for ideas, support, expertise or any other offers of help from the people of Gainsborough and of course old boys and girls of the school.
Mr Allsop, current Headteacher, said “College House sits magnificently on our site but it is sad to see it starting to deteriorate in front of our eyes. All of the current students of QEHS would like to see it brought back to its former glory and I know that they are willing to help in any way that they can. It will be fantastic to see it being used for the education of young people and the wider community of Gainsborough again”.