Our history

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Melbourne Grammar School has grown from humble beginnings into one of Melbourne’s leading educational institutions.

How Melbourne Grammar School has grown

Melbourne Grammar School opened its doors on 7 April 1858. Its 77 students were to study at a fifteen-acre site then thought to be ‘too far from the city’. The School remains on its original location – now known as St Kilda Road, South Yarra. Early photographs show the Senior School building surrounded by bare fields.

A library was established in June 1875, with Wadhurst following in 1878 to accommodate an overflow of boarders. The gift of Harleston came in 1918, establishing Grimwade House as a junior school.

Since then, the buildings, grounds and facilities have evolved to support the exceptional education Melbourne Grammar School offers today. These include first rate boarding, sporting and outdoor education facilities, the Nigel Peck Centre for Learning and Leadership, and the Geoff Handbury Science and Technology Hub.

Our evolving community

The history of the Melbourne Grammar community reflects both our respect for tradition and our enthusiasm in adapting to change.

The School faced economic challenges during its first 40 years, prompting former students to found The Old Melburnians Society – an alumni community, which remains a crucial source of knowledge and support for the School.

The School grew rapidly during the post-war period, leading to a far-sighted building programme aiming to make the best use of the relatively small campus grounds. In the 1970s a junior school restructure transformed Grimwade House into a coeducational campus and established Wadhurst as a boys’ school for Years 7 and 8. 

Those who have studied at Melbourne Grammar School include Prime Ministers, explorers, Anglican clergy, artists, academics, industrialists and farmers, and many other Australians who have made invaluable contributions across the globe.

Today, we are proud of the diversity and inclusivity of the Melbourne Grammar School community, and its celebration of excellence in all fields.