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George Watson's Ladies' College George Square

George watson's Ladies' College (GWLC)

Opened in 1871, George Watson’s Ladies’ College had a proud and highly regarded reputation for educating generations of girls and young women, which lasted just over a century until its amalgamation with George Watson’s Boys’ College in 1974.

In 2021, George Watson’s College celebrated the 150th Anniversary of GWLC and established these dedicated webpages for former pupils, former staff and their families to share stories, photographs and other anecdotes which are helping to enrich the physical and digital archives of this important educational institution. Please share your memories by emailing

Women of Watson's

When GWLC opened its doors in 1871, expectations of middle-class women were restricted to them becoming good wives and mothers. Charlotte Ainslie, Head from 1902-1926, was a pupil at George Square soon after it opened. In 1920, as she looked back on the school’s first 50 years, she commented,

‘Our girls were provided with an excellent education and a humane culture quite suited to the very worthy ideal of making a happy home.’

She went on to say,

‘It is only during these recent years that the horizon bounding women’s sphere has been widened… There is no worthy department of human activity in which our girls have not had their share.’

Here then you will find Watson’s Women, whose stories illustrate Charlotte Ainslie’s words.

To mark 150 years of George Watson’s Ladies’ College, the School Historian, Catherine Stratford, sought to find Watson’s Women who had indeed illustrated Charlotte Ainslies’ Words. Here are the stories of 13 ‘George Square Girls’. Women whose stories need to be told.

GWLC website

You can read more stories on on GWLC 150 Anniversary website.

GWLC 150 Anniversary website