Twells House

History of the Hostel

This house, for senior school boarders, bears the name of the first bishop of Bloemfontein, Edward Twells, who established the Anglican Church in the Republic of the Orange Free State in 1863. He served as bishop from 1863 to 1869.

He was consecrated Bishop of the Orange Free State in Westminster Abbey on 2nd February 1863. Bishop Twells departed London by sailing ship for Cape Town and travelling overland by wagon and cart arrived in the frontier town of Bloemfontein three months later October 1, 1863. His travelling party included three schoolteachers.

Soon after his arrival he called a public meeting to announce the intentions of his mission. There were 60 adults in attendance … virtually the entire adult population of the town … to whom he announced his intention of opening a school as there was no school at that time. He recorded in his journal that “the boys of Bloemfontein run wild.” On Monday 16th November 1863 the Diocesan Grammar School was opened in the government school room which had previously been the Raadzaal. The original school room still stands in St. George’s Street as a museum and is a National Monument.

The course of instruction comprised the usual branches of a sound liberal education. Six months after the opening of the Grammar School the bishop and the president, John Brand, conducted an oral examination of the boy’s progress. The president’s son was a pupil and both the bishop, and the president reported favourably on the progress being made.

The Twells House badge depicts an eagle rising in ecclesiastical purple which is a symbol of the Gospel and denotes the arrival of the Anglican Church in  the Republic of the Orange Free State in 1863.

Welcome to Twells House

In the St Andrew’s hostels, we are the heart of the school!  You will make the hostel your home away from home and create a wonderful school life for yourself. 

The boys you meet here will become your lifelong friends!  We advise you to get involved in as many things as you can, play sport, stay busy, help out, where needed and make friends.  Life in a St Andrew’s hostel is as much fun as you make it.

There will always be an older boy looking out for you, and you have a house master to talk to, so make time to meet them and get to know each other.

Lieben Pietersen, Housemaster Twells House