Nearly 200 years of education for girls has come to an end with parents, pupils and staff bidding an emotional farewell to Casterton School.-----------------
The independent boarding school, near Kirkby Lonsdale, merged with Sedbergh School in March with the amalgamation kicking in from September.
On Saturday, British yachtswoman Dee Caffari was guest speaker at a special assembly, which formed part of the annual speech day and prize-giving ceremony.
There were tears as the occasion marked not only the end of term, but the end of an era – the last full day of the 190-year-old school whose first pupils included the Brontë sisters.
Casterton School is an independent boarding and day school for ages 3 to 18 years in the village of Casterton in rural Cumbria. Boys are admitted up until age 11 years. Boarding is for girls only from age 8 and above.
HistoryRev Carus Wilson as the Clergy Daughters' School in Cowan Bridge to educate daughters of financially disadvantaged clergymen. It moved to its current site at Casterton in 1833. Four of the Brontë sisters (Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily) attended the former Cowan Bridge School. A stone inscription to commemorate this is present at the original site and the current Casterton School still acknowledges the literary connection by naming buildings accordingly.
In 2000 boys were admitted to the junior school.
Following a decline in pupil numbers, in March 2013 a merger was announced with Sedbergh School, effective from September 2013. Casterton's prep department will remain on its site as Sedbergh's junior school will be moved there. Senior pupils will transfer to the main campus in Sedbergh.
Wilson, Rev William Carus (1791–1859):
Bronte House was formed in 1933 and named in honour of Charlotte Bronte. Bronte was originally called 'Charlotte Bronte House' hence the CB on the badge. Charlotte Bronte based her novel Jane Eyre on Cowan Bridge School, the predecessor of Casterton School