Trent Schools

September 30, 2022

The story of Wortley House

Today, we know the Wortley Building as a thriving Sixth Form community with recently refurbished classrooms and independent study spaces, featuring a spacious Resources Centre and a modern open plan café. But its past use reveals fascinating historical insights on times gone by.

Built in the late 1800s, the building was originally used as the school’s sanitorium where sick and injured pupils were cared for. Wortley House continued to be used as a healthcare facility when it was used as an auxiliary hospital for military patients returning from World War I.

In 1947, the sanitorium was relocated and the building was converted in to a fourth boarding house to accommodate the school’s growing pupil numbers.  The new boarding house was named Wortley, in memory of Francis Wortley (b.1874 d.1941).

The 1947 edition of the school newsletter, the Trident magazine, wrote of the Wortley House opening:  “In the years to come when Wortley House is no longer an unfamiliar innovation but as much an automatically accepted part of Trent as Hanbury, Shuker or Wright, one hopes that these boys will be able to look back with a pride proper to pioneers on the Christmas Term, 1947, and say: “I was one of that company of boys who ‘founded’ Wortley House.”

Who was Wortley?

Francis Wortley attended Trent College as a pupil from 1888 to 1891. His passion and commitment to the school was evident as he became a founding member of the Old Tridents Society in 1903, before becoming secretary to the society from 1903 to 1924.  He later became a School Governor in 1904 and then President of the Old Tridents Society in 1931, both roles he held until he passed away in 1941, aged 67.

Developing to meet modern demands

Wortley House continued to accommodate boarding pupils for over 50 years before the school’s need for a larger Sixth Form facility increased. Pupils were relocated to join pupils in other boarding houses, and the building was remodelled to retain its historic links, but to emerge as the Wortley Sixth Form Centre we enjoy today.  With independent study spaces, a modern and spacious Resources Centre, classrooms and an open plan café, the Wortley Sixth Form centre continues to play a large part of Trent life and the name Wortley lives on long after the opening of Wortley House.


Although the building looks similar on the outside, a lot has changed on the inside.


To find out more about an independent Sixth Form education at Trent College, book onto the upcoming Open Morning on Saturday 6 October.