“I am convinced we owe to the Houses two of the school’s best attributes – its spirit of keenness and the happy relationship between older and younger girls,” Irene Wilson, Principal 1924 – 1946.
Queen Margaret College has a long history of friendly competition between our five school Houses. Students regularly take part in competitions for House Points, including Athletics Day, School Swimming Sports and House Performing Arts Day.
The first four school houses; Berwick, Braemar, Glamis and Lochleven were established in 1927. In 1929 a fifth house, Stirling, was added due to a growing school population. Original House members chose their House names from famous Scottish Castles, and also chose their own colours and mottos.
Since the Houses were established students have taken part in competitions spanning athletics, academics and performing arts. Our current House Performing Arts Day is the combination of House Music (established in 1993) and House Plays (established near the beginning of the House system).
Queen Margaret College continues to honour the traditions of previous years by holding regular House Banners Assemblies. Sisters, daughters and granddaughters of Old Girls are placed in the same house as their predecessors so they can trace their House heritage back generations.
Houses, their castles and their mottos are listed below.
Berwick Castle was built around 1127 by David I of Scotland. The castle has spent a lot of its history passed between the English and the Scottish. In 1603 it was sold to a private family and was left to decay. Most of what was left of the Berwick Castle was destroyed in the 1800s when the Northern British Railway began to build train tracks through it.
House Colours: Blue and white.
Motto: Ad Astra (to the stars).
The present Braemar Castle was constructed in 1628 by John Erskine, 18th Earl of Mar as a hunting lodge. It was the successor of Kindrochit Castle, which dates from the 11th century. The castle has been leased to the community since 2006 and is run by a local charity, staffed by volunteers.
House Colours: Dark blue and gold.
Motto: Honour before Honours.
Glamis Castle was built around 1376 and it has been in the Lyon (later Lyon-Bowes) family since this time. Famous Lyon-Bowes family members include HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who lived at Glamis for a lot of her early years. Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister Margaret was born at Glamis in 1930 and was the first English royal to be born in Scotland since 1600.
House Colours: Red and blue.
Motto: Our best always.
Lochleven Castle was built around 1257 on a small island in the middle of Loch Leven. It fell into disrepair in the 1700s and is now looked after by Historic Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots was held there in 1567 and was forced to abdicate to her infant James VI and I during her imprisonment.
House Colours: Green and red.
Motto: Nemo sibi vivi (No one lives for himself).
Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most famous castles. It is thought the castle was built around 1110, however the land had housed a fortress before this. Stirling Castle was the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots before she was sent to France. She later baptised and lived with her son James I and VI at the castle.
House Colours: Black and gold
Motto: Aude Sapere (Dare to be wise).