In 1808 the Duchess Julia founded a small school for twenty girls in one of the Duke’s houses in Walkergate. By 1820 the numbers had grown to fifty and the school moved to larger premises in Canongate where it remained until 1888.
The school then moved into the Bailiffgate building. It was an entirely private school until 1903 when it was recognised by the Northumberland County Council as a County Secondary School.
The school continued to expand and as The Duchess’s Girls’ Grammar School it moved in 1965 into its fourth home, newly built premises on Howling Lane.
Finally in 1979 at the time of secondary reorganisation the school became both comprehensive and co- educational as it incorporated the Duke’s Boys’ Grammar School, Alnwick Secondary Modern School, Seahouses Secondary Modern School, Glendale County Secondary School and St Mary’s RC Secondary Modern School.