150 years

Save the dates! To celebrate Cargilfield’s 150th anniversary since its founding in 1873, there will be a series of events to celebrate this important milestone. We cannot wait to gather our community, both past and present, to mark this special year.

Details of each event will be posted nearer the time on our social media channels and on this page, but for now, here are the dates for your diary.

Cargilfield was founded on September 19th 1873 by the Rev Charles Darnell. Our first location with within Rev Darnell’s home in the Trinity of Edinburgh. We moved to a purpose-built school on our current site in Barnton in 1898.

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Our alumni records for former pupils, parents, staff and governors are incomplete. Please do register your details by clicking here.

2023 marks Cargilfield’s 150th Anniversary, and we have a number of exciting events planned throughout the year.

Thursday 19th January 2023

  • 150 Drinks Reception at The New Club, Edinburgh

Saturday 11th February

  • Drinks and canapes at Innerwick House, Murrayfield EH12 6HZ, courtesy of Mr and Mrs Green, former Cargilfield parents

Guest: Mr Finlay Calder, former Scotland International and Captain of the British and Irish Lions

Friday 24th March

  • 4pm Former Pupils’ Music Concert in Chapel - please email [email protected] if you would like to come and perform

Thursday 13th April

  • 150 London Drinks Reception at The House of Lords for Former Pupils, Parents and Friends

Sunday 28th May

  • Former Pupils’ Cricket Match and family picnics/BBQ - CANCELLED

Saturday 17th June

  • Summer Fair

Thursday 22nd June

  • Former Pupil and current pupil Art Exhibition opens - PREVIEW

Friday 23rd June

  • Former Pupil and current pupil Art Exhibition and drinks reception at 1800 (for one week)

Tuesday 4th July

  • 150 Show at The Queen’s Hall

Saturday 30th July to Saturday 5th August

  • Western Front Way Walk for Cargilfield families and friends

Saturday 5th August

  • Cargilfield at The Menin Gate, Ypres

Sunday 27th August

  • 150 Golf Day at Bruntsfield Golf Club for Former Pupils, Parents and Friends

Friday 8th September

  • 150 Whole School Beach Day at Seacliff

Tuesday 19th September

  • 150th Foundation Day

Friday 10th November

  • 0900 Remembrance Service and 100th Anniversary of Chapel

Friday 15th December

  • Former Pupils’ Hockey match

Saturday 1st June 2024

  • 150 Ball at Cargilfield

Please get in touch with us at [email protected] for more information.

Sunday 27th August

150 Golf Day at Bruntsfield Golf Club for Former Pupils, Parents and Friends

Details of our 150th Golf Day have been announced! Do share, and get in touch to take part in what promises to be a fabulous day.

Email [email protected] for more information and to take part!

150 Golf at BLGS

Thursday 13th April - Former Pupils’ London Drinks Reception at The House of Lords

We hosted 160 former pupils and friends in the Cholomondeley Room at the House of Lords on what was a beautifully sunny Spring evening in London with wonderful views across the Thames towards the London Eye - a truly spectacular setting for a very special evening. It was lovely to welcome so many old boys and girls as well as lots of former parents to celebrate Cargilfield’s 150th Anniversary; there were former pupils from the 1960s right the way through to some who have just left senior school, many of whom were back in touch with us for the first time since leaving.

We were grateful to Lord Dholakia for hosting us at the Palace of Westminster, and after some words of welcome from Lord Sinclair, the Chairman of Governors and the Headmaster, the evening was spent reminiscing about life at Cargilfield over the years and then long in to the night afterwards at various venues in London. It was a wonderful evening reconnecting with our Cargilfield community and one which we hope will become a regular event in future years.

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Friday 23rd March - Former Pupils’ Concert in Chapel

On the final afternoon of term, we welcomed a number of former pupils stretching as far back as the 1950s to take part in a special concert to celebrate Cargilfield’s 150th anniversary. We were delighted to welcome former Director of Music, Vaughan Townhill, who conducted an all comers’ choir, and he enjoyed chatting to a number of pupils who he taught during his 34 years at Cargilfield.

What a wonderful hour’s entertainment we enjoyed, with some fond reminiscences of life at Cargilfield in the old days and some memorable musical performances. Thank you to all those who took part and it was so good to be able to reconnect with so many former pupils and parents.

The concert was brought to an end with the pipe band playing the specially composed 150 tune in front of a large audience of parents out in Ash Court, and they were joined by some former pupil pipers too!

You can watch some of the performances here.


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Thursday 19th January - Drinks at The New Club, Edinburgh

We hosted a drinks reception at The New Club on Thursday evening where we welcomed 170 former pupils and parents to launch our 150th anniversary celebrations which will continue throughout 2023.

It really was a wonderful evening and after a short welcome from Lord Sinclair, the Chair of Governors and also a former pupil, and the Headmaster, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the chance to chat with old friends and there were many stories told about bygone days at Cargilfield!

It was a special way to begin our 150th year, and we look forward to a year full of celebrations where we hope to reconnect with the Cargilfield family of former pupils, parents, members of staff and friends as we celebrate this important milestone in the school’s history.

Please do look at our dedicated 150 page on the school website to keep up to date with our exciting plans for this year. https://www.cargilfield.com/150-years

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Saturday 11th February - Drinks before Scotland v Wales 6 Nations Rugby

It was lovely to welcome a number of former pupils, former parents and current pupils and parents for a drinks reception before the Scotland v Wales 6 Nations game on Saturday, as part of our 150th Anniversary celebrations.Courtesy of former parents Edward and Maryla Green, 60 people congregated for drinks, just a stone’s throw from Murrayfield, and we enjoyed some wonderful hospitality.

After the Headmaster had welcomed everyone and talked about our exciting plans to reconnect our Cargilfield family, we heard from guest of honour and former Scotland International and Captain of the British Lions, Finlay Calder, who reminisced about previous Scotland/Wales games and the friendships forged through sport.A big thank you to all those who supported the event and to Mr and Mrs Green for their wonderfully generous hospitality.

Then, Scotland won!

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Thursday 13th April - London Reception at The House of Lords

We are hosting a 150 Reception at the House of Lords, in the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Thursday 13th April 2023.

All former pupils and parents, as well as prospective parents, who are interested in attending should email [email protected].

It promises to be a wonderful occasion and a chance to reconnect with friends. We look forward to hearing from you! This is for Over 18s only.

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Western Front Way Walk - Sunday 30th July to Sunday 6th August

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Dear parents, former pupils and friends of Cargilfield,

Now that we have reached 2023, I wanted to be in touch about an exciting project that will form part of our 150th anniversary this year.

As some of you will be aware, Cargilfield is very proud of its connection to the Western Front Way, the route that was conceived by 2nd Lt Alexander Douglas Gillespie, Cargilfield’s Head Boy in 1903, when he wrote from Northern France to his headmaster at Winchester College in 1915.

“when peace comes, our government might combine with the French government to make one long avenue between the lines from the Vosges to the sea….I would make a fine broad road in the ‘No-Mans Land’ between the lines, with paths for pilgrims on foot and plant trees for shade and fruit trees, so that the soil should not altogether be waste. Then I would like to send every man, woman and child in Western Europe on a pilgrimage along that Via Sacra so that they might think and learn what war means from the silent witnesses on either side.”

Indeed, our large astroturf is named after Douglas Gillespie and his brother, Thomas (an Olympic oarsman who was killed in the first few months of the conflict) and I would like to use this anniversary as a means of following ADG’s wish by making a Cargilfield pilgrimage to the Western Front.

As I mentioned in my letter to parents in the Publiciser of 18th November last year, I plan to walk at least 150km along this route in late July/early August of 2023. In doing this, I would like to place a personalised Cargilfield 150 poppy wreath on the graves/memorials of about 75 of the former pupils who lost their lives in that part of France/Belgium.

Learn more about the Western Front Way by clicking here.

The walk will start from Albert on the Somme on Monday 31st July and will finish at Ypres on Saturday 5th August with Cargilfield playing a part in the Last Post memorial at the Menin Gate that evening (pipers especially welcome!). Indeed, I hope that the weekend of 5th/6th August might be the focus for a gathering in Ypres with opportunities to visit battlefield sites and memorials, attend the Last Post event and a 150 dinner in Ypres and be present to unveil a plaque for the Cargilfield fallen at St George’s Church in Ypres at their service on the Sunday morning.

The purpose of my letter is, at this stage, to advertise the walk (should there be current families or former pupils/parents/friends who would like to join me for some or all of this adventure) and the other opportunities of supporting this event.

While joining the walk or the Ypres weekend might not be possible for many of you, I hope that some of you might like to support the project by purchasing a 150 wreath from the Lady Haig Poppy Factory (Earl Haig being a Cargilfield parent during the 1920s) and writing a personal note for the individual soldier before the wreath is placed on a grave or memorial. More details of how to do this will follow.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this year might see someone visit every Cargilfield grave or memorial (126 in total) which include sites through other parts of the United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Israel, Malta, Greece, Macedonia and India. Between us, we might be able to conceive ways of doing this?

I do hope that this project might capture the imagination of some of you. For those who want to read more, I can recommend Anthony Seldon’s book The Path of Peace (Walking the Western Front Way) or the article describing Tom Heap’s cycle ride along the route on a vintage bicycle (Tom is the great nephew of the Gillespie boys and a BBC journalist who opened our astroturf in 2018): https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/what-like-cycle-western-front-knowing-uncles-dug-trenches/

My proposed itinerary for the walk is:

Sunday 30th July

  • Arrive Albert

Monday 31st July

Tuesday 1st August

  • Arrive Arras

Wednesday 2nd August

Thursday 3rd August

  • Arrive Armentieres

Friday 4th August

  • Arrive Ypres (or somewhere close)

Saturday 5th August

  • Complete route and/or museum visit/ battlefields trip around Ypres

5th August evening

  • Last Post Ceremony/Cargilfield Dinner

Sunday 6th August

  • Commemorate Cargilfield Plaque at St George’s Memorial Church

Having completed a recce of the likely route last summer, I am now working from the latest version of the route as appears on the Western Front Way app (something I would recommend for anyone considering a walk/cycle ride on the route). As recommended accommodation and amenities are still being finalised on the app, I propose to finalise destinations for the Monday and Wednesday nearer to Easter. By then, we hope to have welcomed Rory Forsyth, the CEO of the Western Front Way, to speak to us at Cargilfield.

I am aiming to walk about 30km each day and hope that this will then also allow time to travel (by support vehicle) to visit some of the graves/memorials in Northern France/Belgium that aren’t directly on the walk.

The Eurostar station at Lille serves trains to Albert, Arras, Armentieres and Ypres for those wanting to join the walk without bringing a car. I would be delighted to discuss the project with anyone who is interested in supporting the adventure.

Yours sincerely Rob Taylor  Headmaster

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Cargilfield where everyday is an adventure

Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.

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