School History


History 1Basingstoke High School for Girls opened in Brook House, Brook Street (no longer in existence) with 41 pupils.  Miss Hinton (Headmistress) had 3 full-time members of staff and 2 visiting instructors teaching cooking and horticulture.

1912Crossborough Hill site

Now with 60 pupils the school moved to the new building in Crossborough Hill designed by the Hampshire County Council architect, to accommodate 160 girls.

The single storey brick building coped for 42 years, through two world wars, with ever growing pupil numbers.


Headmistress Miss Hinton resigned through ill health and was succeeded by Miss Costello who remained Headmistress for 20 years. During this period the School magazine and School Dramatic Society begun and the Old Girls’ Association formed.


Various ‘temporary’ buildings were added over the years, the most notable being known as The Black Huts.


Harriet CostelloStaff and the Old Girls’ Association presented the school with Miss Costello’s portrait on her retirement, the painting now hangs in the entrance hall by the current Head Teacher’s office.


The former home of Mr & Mrs Weston was acquired by The County Council, renamed Weston House and became pleasant classrooms for the Upper Sixth.


Now with 550 girls, accommodation for laboratory work and other specialist classes was a problem – a complicated schedule of buses and taxis helped senior girls to attend these lessons at Queen Mary’s School, Basingstoke Technical College, the Shrubbery Girls’ School and Sarum Hill Domestic Science Centre.

Extensive new building plans got underway at the school including a three-storey laboratory block, an assembly hall with stage equipment, a foyer for school meals and a kitchen, domestic science, geography, a gymnasium, changing rooms and playing fields which stretched onto 4 acres of the Common.


Through hard work of the school and generosity of parents, governors and friends, enough money was raised to build a swimming pool in the orchard of Weston House.


The Old Girls’ presented the school with a water colour of Brook House (the original school building) and a portrait of Headmistress Miss Wood on her retirement, Headmistress from 1945-1964, these paintings can still be seen in the school today.

1972Costello Shield.gif

Basingstoke High School for Girls became a mixed comprehensive school accepting boys for the first time in its history and was renamed Harriet Costello School.


Gained technology status and became Costello Technology College.


A devastating fire on Friday 5 December destroyed 12 classrooms in the technology and mathematics blocks.


New technology blockThe new technology and mathematics suite officially opened.


Celebration events took place throughout the year to celebrate the school’s centenary.


The new IT suite and hair and beauty salon opened.


Converted to an academy, with a change in uniform and renamed The Costello School.

PDFHistory of Costello