Today, George Watson's College is a fully integrated school, catering for girls and boys from Nursery through to Senior 6 on a single 50 acre campus just to the south of Edinburgh's City Centre.
Throughout the School's long history, there have been many changes since its foundation as a Charitable Hospital in 1741. The Hospital was the legacy of merchant and financier George Watson; today, the George Watson's Family Foundation continues this legacy, raising funds for bursary support.
In July 1870 the Merchant Company was granted powers by Parliament to reform all the hospitals under its management, and, along with the other Merchant Company Schools, George Watson's Hospital was remodelled into a day school with a continuing nucleus of Foundationers. It first opened as George Watson's College on 26 September 1870, with a roll of 1,000 pupils and Dr George Ogilvie as Headmaster. In 1871 the Merchant Company, having taken the decision to provide similar educational opportunities for girls, established George Watson's Ladies' College in Melville House (formerly home to Admiral Duncan). The boys' School was moved from Archibald Place to new buildings in Colinton Road in 1932, and on 1 October 1974 George Watson’s College and George Watson's Ladies' College were amalgamated to form one co-educational School, fully accommodated at Colinton Road since 1975.