Boarding Houses


    Boys' house
    Housemaster: Ollie Gospel
    Founded: 1956


    Eagle caters for flexi and weekly boarders, accommodating a maximum of 68 boys. Shell (Year 9) and Remove (Year 10) are normally in rooms of three or four, the Fifth Form (Year 11) in rooms of two, and the Lower Sixth have single rooms. On the ground floor the boys have a large common room with a kitchen. The relaxed surroundings give the boys space to enjoy their down time with access to a pool table, Sky TV, DVD player, and has bi-fold doors out on to the decking on the edge of the garden. Eagle also has a second communal space which is often used for group work in the evenings and has a dartboard and table football for use during social time. The Lower Sixth have their own common room, the ‘Rooker’, with a TV and DVD player. There is plenty in-house to keep the boys occupied during downtime and trips out are a common feature.

    Ollie graduated from Liverpool with a BEng in Clinical Engineering and Materials Science. After teaching in the state sector for seven years, he joined Hurst in 2012. He was Head of Year for five years, including Head of Fifth Form for four years. In 2017 Ollie took over running Eagle House where he lives with his wife and three young children. He is involved in triathlon training and teaching scuba diving at the college, and is also Lieutenant in the Hurst Combined Cadet Force (CCF, Navy).

    Eagle is a friendly house with a good sense of 'family spirit'. Ollie firmly believes in allowing all boys the opportunity to achieve their best, in whatever area that may be, within a structured, caring and disciplined house community.

    Eagle stands alone in the grounds, adjacent to the Bury Theatre. The first Housemaster, W.M. Alban, was a stalwart thespian of the Hurstpierpoint Shakespeare Society.

    Information from the Hurst Archives


    Girls' house
    Housemistress: Sarah Hyman
    Founded: 1960


    Martlet is set in its own private garden opposite the main entrance to the college. The house can accommodate up to 65 weekly and flexi-boarders. In Shell (Year 9) and Remove (Year 10), girls share rooms up to a maximum of six, which enables them to quickly get to know their peer group. In the Fifth Form (Year 11), two or three girls share a room, and in the Lower Sixth students have a single room.

    Sarah Hyman takes over the role of Martlet Housemistress in August 2018, having spent the past seven years as Housemistress of Fleur de Lys, a girls’ day house.  She has worked in boarding schools for 25 years, in both Australia and England. In her twenties, Sarah lived in France, Italy and Switzerland, before becoming a teacher of French and Spanish. During the holidays Sarah enjoys spending as much time as possible in the French Alps with her family. Sarah says, "I love the sense of community that comes with a life in boarding schools. My three children have grown up at Hurst and it is a very special place for our family."

    Sarah writes " My aim is to ensure that the girls feel that Martlet is their home away from home where they can relax and enjoy house community.

    Martlet is named after a stylised mythical bird from English heraldry. Martlet became the first girls' boarding house in 1995 with Housemistress Miss J. Watson.

    Information from the Hurst Archives


    Girls' house
    Housemistress: Tania Fielden
    Founded: 2009


    Pelican caters for weekly and flexi boarders and is situated on the north side of the campus, next door to the medical centre and close to the academic quad. The house offers attractive common rooms and wi-fi throughout. The younger boarders sleep in dormitories up to a maximum of eight, whilst older pupils enjoy rooms for three and those in the LVI have single accommodation. Day pupils share a study room with others in their year group.

    Tania took over as Housemistress in September 2016. Before joining Hurst, Tania was Head of HR for a finance company, then, after qualifying as a Counsellor at university, she ran her own counselling business specialising in the mental health of young people. Tania has a BA (Hons) degree in Professional Studies in Learning and Development and joined Hurst in 2010 to run the careers programme, which aims to prepare students for life beyond Hurst. She has been Assistant Housemistress in Fleur, St John's and Pelican.

    Tania has two grown-up sons and says "being in a house full of girls makes a welcome change!"

    Pelican is a caring environment and each individual's needs are supported, both pastorally and academically. Girls are expected to look out for each other both in the house and in the wider Hurst community.

    A Pelican carved in stone is placed at the top of the reredos in the chapel. It was given to Hurst in memory of one of the first Masters, Rev R L Pennell.

    Information from the Hurst Archives

    Red Cross

    Boys' house
    Housemaster: Adam Hopcroft

    Founded: 1853


    Red Cross caters for flexi and weekly boarders and can accommodate up to a maximum of 56 boys. Shell (Year 9) are normally in rooms of four or five, Remove (Year 10) have rooms for two or three, the Fifth Form (Year 11) share a room with one other pupil and the Lower Sixth have single rooms. The house has a large social room with a kitchen and is equipped with sofas, Sky TV, DVD player and a pool table.

    Adam joined Hurst in 2009 as Assistant Housemaster in Eagle and a member of the Science department. He took over as Housemaster of Red Cross in 2014, accompanied by his wife, Anna and their dogs George and Nala. After a former career in professional Rugby, Adam now coaches Hurst's 1st XV and 7s Rugby sides, and the 2nd XI Cricket team. Adam is also an Officer in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF, Army) and a Duke of Edinburgh supervisor.

    Red Cross has a 'family spirit' and the boys excel in all areas, from academic subjects to the Creative Arts and Sport.

    Red Cross was one of the original houses and was named after the first dormitories. The longest serving Housemaster was R.E Bury who lived in Red Cross for 30 years (1938-68).

    Red Cross alumnus, Douglas Moreton celebrated his 100th birthday in 2016!

    Information from the Hurst Archives


    Girls' house
    Housemistress: Mrs A S Paterson (née Masson)

    Founded: 1856


    Shield is a house for flexi and weekly boarders. The house is situated in the heart of the college and provides a secure, welcoming and comfortable environment in which to study and relax. The house provides social areas, kitchen facilities and communal work spaces.

    Alice took over as Housemistress of Shield in September 2017 after being an Assistant Housemistress in Martlet. Alice received a BSc (Hons) Biological Science (specialising in Infectious Diseases) from Edinburgh University and completed her PGCE (Science) at University of Bristol. She has also been Head of KS3 Chemistry and KS4 Biology over the last few years, delivering A Level Biology, GCSE Biology and Chemistry and KS3 Science. She also helps with the varied co-curricular programme. This is Alice’s sixth year at Hurst and she lives in House with her Husband, Andy.

    The Shield community pride themselves on the friendly and compassionate ethos of the house. Lower Sixth (Year 12) pupil Libby says "Being in Shield is like being in a big family; there's always someone there for you, no matter what."

    Shield was originally called the Doctor’s Dormitory. The First Housemaster of Shield was Rev Sabine Baring-Gould, a novelist and composer of hymns including ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’.

    Information from the Hurst Archives


    Boys' house
    Housemistress/Housemaster: Frances and David Williams
    Founded: 1877


    Star is the largest boys' boarding house, home to weekly and flexi boarders. Star is the oldest of all the boarding houses and is located to the south-east of the Chapel, occupying the upper floors of the prestigious building that was once the Headmaster’s house.

    Boys in Shell (Year 9) and Remove (Year 10) have a flexible range of rooms catering for up to five boys. The boys move rooms every term to encourage and create a well-integrated junior house cohort. In the senior part of the House, the Fifth Form (Year 11) share a room with either one or two other pupils whilst the Lower Sixth enjoy single rooms. The house has a communal entrance hall and kitchen, quiet study room and two large social rooms equipped with sofas, table tennis, TV, DVD, a Playstation, pool and table football.

    Frances and David Williams joined Star House as joint Housemistress/Housemaster in January 2017. Frances originally joined Hurst in 2011 as a Senior School Maths teacher and tutor in Fleur, before moving to Phoenix in 2013. In 2016, she moved again to Star as a Lower Sixth tutor before taking over with her husband, David, in January 2017. Frances is an Oxford Maths graduate and completed her PGCE at Cambridge. She worked in a number of day and boarding schools, whilst also bringing up two boys, before moving to Hurst. David gained his PGCE from Cambridge and has been in senior management posts, including headship, since 1992. Currently, he combines his Housemaster role at Hurst with teaching English at a prep school. Between them, they have been involved with boarding houses for over 25 years.

    Frances says “Star House espouses the motto: Per ardua ad astra (through adversity to the stars)! We believe that Star boys will thrive in a positive, caring environment where everyone can achieve knowing that they will be supported in all that they do.”

    Star was originally the Headmaster’s house and always the largest. Fees here were slightly higher as it was said that the students enjoyed better quality food. Peacocks were a feature of Hurst before WWI and used to roost in an oak tree at the end of Star dormitory disturbing the boys’ sleep!

    Information from the Hurst Archives


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