The College has a history dating back to 1557 when Sir John Deane, rector at St Bartholomews in London, set up a charitable trust and gifted the land on which the first school was built. He also provided other land and assets which would provide the income required to build and run the school.

History of SJD

Sir John Deane was born in Shurlach near Davenham and never forgot his roots and wanted to provide the inhabitants of his native area with the means of self improvement through education.

The first two school buildings were built in the churchyard of St Helen’s church, Witton. The third school building which was opened in 1869 moved outside the church yard and is still standing opposite St Helen’s Chapel.

The school moved to its current site in 1908 thanks to the generosity of another local benefactor, Sir John Brunner, who with Ludwig Mond had developed the wealthiest British chemical company of the late nineteenth century in Winnington.

Sir John Brunner

In 1978 the Boys Grammar School became a mixed sixth form college and has continued to grow and expand since. A £28million redevelopment of the site was completed in 2011 with funding from the Learning and Skills Council to provide the fantastic facilities that we have today – but we haven’t lost our links to the past. Our cafeteria now occupies the Brunner Hall in the 1908 building and the portrait of Sir John Brunner still looks down on new generations of students.