On a very warm summer day at the Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth, it was a pleasure to see so many parents, staff and governors watching the happy pupils receiving their well earned prizes and trophies.
The school (now known as RMS for Girls), started with fifteen pupils and a matron in Somers Place in East London and moved twice within London until it finally settled in the magnificent grounds of Rickmansworth Park, Hertfordshire, in 1934. RMS is one of the oldest girls’ schools in the country. Founded in 1788 by Chevalier Ruspini (founder of the former Royal Masonic Trust for Girls & Boys, now part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation), the School's original purpose was to educate the daughters of Freemasons who were unable to support their families through death, illness or disability.
The School became an open fee paying school in 1978 and accepts girls from all backgrounds and faiths. The majority of families associated with the School have no links with Freemasonry, with the name now largely being a reference to the school's past.
With 315 acres of stunning grounds, Rickmansworth Park once surrounded a stately home. The school was purpose built on its site, making the most of its generous land. With over 3000 trees, rolling grassland and exceptional facilities, the staff and students are indeed blessed to live and work in such a beautiful place. When the School was designed, the size, scale and quality of the buildings was extremely generous to a fault. The aerial shot below gives as idea of the extent of the school and its magnificent grounds.
Despite the reduced dependence on Freemasonry, this is an amazing school which embraces its traditions while looking forward to the future. The school motto comes from Psalm 144, “That our daughters may be as the polished cornerstones of the Temple.” The Ashlar is a traditional and valued award given as a silver badge to girls in recognition of their hard work, demonstration of the school values, and contributions to school life. Pupils have the opportunity to earn an Ashlar at various stages in their school life at senior school and sixth form.
This photograph shows the Great Hall at Rickmansworth, where the prize giving took place, and the concert by the recipient years & the RMS Orchestra performed songs and music ranging from Elton John to Sibelius.
The Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association contributes £500 annually to fund the prizes for the pupils, and has had the daughters of several Warwickshire freemasons educated at the school in past years. For further information on the School click HERE.