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The Red Maids' School is an independent school for girls in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, England. The school is a member of the Girls' Schools Association.HistoryThe Red Maids' school was founded in 1634 from the bequest of John Whitson, Mayor and MP of Bristol, making it the oldest surviving girls' school in England at over 375 years old. His original Red Maids’ Hospital, on Denmark Street in the centre of Bristol, was founded to provide a secure home for the orphaned or destitute daughters of freemen or burgesses of the City of Bristol, where they were taught to read and sew. The site was irreparably damaged and had to be completely rebuilt in the 1840s. The new school building was designed by architect James Foster in 1844.The entrance lodge of the existing site in Westbury-on-Trym dates from 1830 and has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.During World War I, the Red Maids' School was moved to Manor House, which is now part of the University of Bristol, while the school buildings in Westbury were used as a Red Cross hospital.Founder's DayThe Red Maids' School Founder’s Day is the annual celebration of the life and vision of the founder, John Whitson, Mayor and MP of Bristol. The event commemorates the attempted murder of Whitson on 7 November 1626: Christopher Callowhill stabbed him in the face with a dagger on that day. Whitson survived for two years after this attack before dying after falling from a horse. On Founder’s Day all the girls march from Welsh Back, through the city, to the cathedral, where a service takes place. In keeping with school tradition the girls are then allowed the afternoon off.
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