The House System was created in 1912. At that time there were three Houses established called Town, North and South. The planning for this took place during 1911 and the reason for creating the Houses was to help develop Sport in school so that, with a competitive dimension, students would enthusiastically play for their Houses. They provided a chance for students to achieve success and enjoy friendly yet meaningful competition. So Sports Day on 21 June 1912, which was actually the Fourteenth Annual Sports Day, was the first time that the Houses competed against one another for the Wrench Shield. The first ever winners were Town House (the equivalent of our current Glossop House).
After the First World War, in 1919, the Houses were renamed and an extra House was added. The principle of allocation to the Houses was still geographical. The Houses were then called Nesfield (the South area – Matlock and beyond), Taylor (also South as far as Darley Dale), Glossop (the Bakewell ‘Town’ area) and Barker (the North). These names were those of Governors who had been especially important in the reopening of Lady Manners School in 1896.
In 1924 a new school was opened in Matlock (Ernest Bailey School) so fewer students came from that area and Nesfield House disappeared. Barker House also disappeared for a while at the end of 1937 because when Buxton College became a County School and the Ridgefield boarding annex was no longer needed there were fewer students from the North area. This was a weakness of the principle of allocating students to Houses on a geographical basis. To confuse the situation a little further, there was also a ‘School House’ (photographs of the twenty or so members of which still exist for the period 1931 to 1941) which was for ‘boarders’. This House did not seem to compete for the Inter-House trophies in quite the same way as the main Houses, but did have their own activities, organised internally for pupils living in the School House. By 1938, coinciding with the effective occupation of the new school buildings on Shutts Lane, the main Houses were rearranged again - now numbering four; Elton, Haddon, Glossop and Taylor.
In 1947, just after the Second World War, there was another change when the number of Houses became three again and Barker reappeared, replacing Haddon and Elton. Competition between the Houses was no longer just on the basis of Sport, and other activities had become important too.
By 1959 there were plans to create a fourth House again and this time the new House was to be named Cockerton. This naming was a tribute to the Cockerton family that had given over 50 years of service to the School, firstly with Mr VR Cockerton and then with his son Mr RWP Cockerton. Both had been School Governors and Mr VR Cockerton had been actively involved in the establishing of the current school site.
So ever since the early 1960s there have been four Houses – Barker, Cockerton, Glossop and Taylor – just like now – and students are no longer allocated to these Houses according to where they live, but according to which of the pairs of form tutor groups they are in.