City villa that inspired St Trinian’s up for sale

The screen version of St Trinian's. Picture: Getty Images
The screen version of St Trinian's. Picture: Getty Images
Have your say

A FLAT in the former school that inspired St Trinian’s is on the market for well over £500,000.

The grand Victorian villa in one of the most exclusive postcodes in Edinburgh was once home to 60 pupils.

A room from the flat in the former school that inspired St Trinian's. Picture: Deadline

A room from the flat in the former school that inspired St Trinian's. Picture: Deadline

Two girls from the school – called St Trinneans – met cartoonist Ronald Searle in Scotland in 1941 and their stories inspired his cartoons, which were later made into a series of films starring Joyce Grenfell, George Cole and Edinburgh-born Alastair Sim.

The original St Trinneans, in the Grange, long ago closed and was converted into three spacious flats.

Now anyone with a spare £550,000 can get their hands on part of the former boarding school behind the riotous St Trinian’s of fiction.

The B-listed property boasts beautiful cornice work, an original fireplace and bay window, and stunning views of Arthur’s Seat. It was an unlikely spot to inspire the most unruly schoolchildren in literature.

Current residents are much better behaved than in films inspired by real St Trinneans

Andrew Riddell

But when Searle met two of the girls from the boarding school while stationed as a soldier in Kirkcudbright he was enchanted by their tales.

The pupils, who had been evacuated to the countryside during the war, caught his attention with their keenness to return to school. Tickled by their stories and intrigued by headmistress Miss Lee Fraser – who is said to have simultaneously intimidated and inspired her “gals” – he tweaked the school’s name and set about creating a series of cartoons.

His St Trinian’s became a boarding school full of mayhem, where the pupils were always badly behaved, constantly plotting and, more ­often than not, armed to the teeth.

The tales of the out-of-control boarding school were turned into a series of comedy films in the 1950s starring Sim as the school’s permanently hard-up headmistress.

The remake in 2007, which saw Rupert Everett in the role of headmistress, was the launching pad for the career of Hollywood star Gemma Arterton.

The original school eventually moved to St Leonard’s House, now part of Edinburgh University.

The Villa on Palmerston Road was turned into three spacious flats – one of which has just hit the market.

Andrew Riddell, from Strutt & Parker’s Edinburgh office, said: “This is a very beautifully presented flat in a very popular area of Edinburgh.

“The current residents of the property are certainly much better behaved than those in the films inspired by St Trinneans.”

He added: “I am sure that there are many people who don’t actually believe that the school existed.”