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Bellvue Seminary

Up to 1880, Somerset East only two small private schools catered for the education of girls, while boys were catered for by Gill College. The Rev. J.H. Hofmeyr persuaded the Kerkraad of his church to build and finance a seminary for girls. A piece of ground in Paulet street was acquired, and on July 19, 1881, the foundation was laid. The building was designed by the architect Carl Otto Hager (who designed and built the N.G. Kerk in Somerset East). The building was erected at a cost of 5000 pounds. The first school later became the school's boarding house and teachers residence.

The school was officially opened on 29 September 1882. The first principal was Miss Jane Wright of Aberdeen, Scotland. A board of guarantors eventually took the place of the Kerkraad and managers, and with the addition of many pupils and progress of the school, government support was forthcoming in 1885. Further buildings were built in 1895, and in 1905 the School Board Act came into being.

In 1906, a large school with assembly hall and seven spacious classrooms was opened by Sir Hely-Hutchinson, Governor of the Cape. In 1925 the school was raised from Secondary (Junior certificate) to high school status. The tree in front of the property, is said to have been planted by the founder principal.

Gill College and Bellevue amalgamated in 1965 . A new hostel for the senior girls was built just before the amalgamation, and the building is still used today by Gill College, though not as a hostel.


Sadly the government took over the original Seminary buildings for accommodation for the Commandos, and no effort has been made to maintain them.

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