Welcome to  Merriman House!

Welcome to Merriman House - one of the most exciting houses at St Catherine’s! Merriman House was named after Dr Merriman who was Headmaster of Cranleigh School, and one of the founders of St Catherine’s.

We are a very friendly House and our House colour is PURPLE! We encourage everyone in our community to participate in House Activities of which we have a diverse and varied range. If you enjoy music, sport, acting or painting you will have a chance to shine throughout the year. You do not have to have experience: we just ask for 100% commitment and 100% enthusiasm. We are a very professional house and we strive to be the best. Enthusiasm has been markedly high over the years and if there was a Cheering Cup, Merriman would come first every time!

We are famous at St Catherine’s for running the Merriman House Christmas Fair. This gives a great opportunity for the Merriman girls to entertain the rest of the School, while raising money for a variety of children’s charities. Another popular event amongst the Merriman girls is the House Drama Competition in which everyone has the chance to get involved, whether onstage and backstage.

I am looking forward to having the opportunity to see you all grow, develop and flourish through the years you will be with us at St Catherine’s. In order to help and support you in the House, we have a first class team of tutors, House Captains, Sixth Form Prefects and, of course, myself.

  Mrs Rosa McQuade

Staff & Officers


  • Housemistress: Mrs Rosa McQuade
  • Upper 4 Tutor: Mr Alasdair Wright
  • Upper 3 and Lower 4 Tutor: Mrs Hannah Simcock
  • Assistant Tutor: Dr Guy Brindley

House Officers

  • House Captains: Sian and Lucy
  • Drama: Hannah and Milly 
  • Music: Scarlet and Tilly
  • Instrumental Music: Ese and Elizabeth 
  • Games: Emily and Olivia 
  • Charity: Pippa and Josie
  • New Girls for Upper 3: Pippa and Josie
  • Art and Event Photography: Isobel and Elizabeth
  • Technical Manager Sound and Light: Josie 
  • Debating and Public Speaking: Katie 
  • Choreography/ Dance and Costumes for Drama: Scarlet and Lydia 

Previous House Captains

  • 2018 - 2019: Phoebe and Emily
  • 2017-2018: Sasha  and Cat 
  • 2016-2017: Claudia and Sanmarie
  • 2015-2016: Mica and Hannah
  • 2014-2015: Natalia and Katie
  • 2013-2014: Abike and Ellie
  • 2012-2013: Becca and Romy
  • 2011-2012: Millie and Jenny




  • Shutting start: Genevieve
  • Crawford-Parrot trophy: Merriman Swimming House relay Senior team
  • Chiquitina: Maddie L4
  • 'The Yes Izzy Cocke Award': Georgina L4
  • Pilkington-Abike: Eleanor U4
  • Jo Woton: House spirit Emily, U3
  • Unicorn: Holly and Sarah in L4
  • The  Gilchrist cup: Annabelle and Katie U6Mrs Gane prize: Izumi U6
  • Mrs Wilson prize: Poppy and Georgina, L4
  • Senior House colours:
  • Isabel L6
  • Emilie L6
  • Lara U5
  • Jessica U5
  • Aya U5
  • Annabel U5
  • Mimi U5
  • Alexa U5
  • Middle school colours:
  • Carys L4
  • Emily U3
  • Georgina L4
  • Poppy L4
  • Lottie L4
  • Mimi L4
  • Daniella L4
  • Emi U4
  • Emilia U4
  • Eleanor U4
  • Alice U4
  • Merits :
  • Hannah L5
  • Annabelle L4
  • Jessica U3


  • Merit Awards:
  • Fifth form: Mimi L5
  • Fourth form: Sophie L4
  • U3: Jess U3
  • Pilkington-Abike: Daniella L4, Elizabeth, L6
  • Little angel: Holly L4 and , Geneviebe  L4!!
  • Crawford-Parrot trophy: Ellie L5, Hannah L5 and  Lottie L4
  • Chiquitina: Emily, U6
  • 'The Yes Izzy Cocke Award': Daniella, L4
  • Jo Wooton: House spirit: Miri U5
  • Work cup: Holly L4


  • Merit awards:
  • Fifth form: Mo, L5
  • Fourth form: Poppy
  • U3: Cary
  • Crawford-Parrot trophy: A senior lacrosse player
  • Chiquitina: Mo, L5  
  • 'The Yes Izzy Cocke Award': Esther, L5
  • Pilkington-Abike: Miri U5 and Alexa U5
  • Jo Wooton House spirit : Isobel  L6
  • Gilchrist prize: Katie, L6
  • Little Angel: Sophie and Ella, L4 
  • Merry mug: Lottie L4
  • Shuting start as a new person: Cary U3 followed very closely by Rowen U3
  • Work Cup: Isabella (U5) and Maddie (U3)
  • Golden Girdle: Lara U5 
  • Merit Girdle: Emilia (U4)


Annual Report

Written by Merriman House Captains 

As house captains, we are so proud of all Merriman’s achievements this year and would like to say a massive well done to everyone who was involved. 

Congratulations to all who played netball in the autumn term, we achieved third place in both middle and senior school. Our sporting success did not end there as we came second in senior lacrosse; special recognition goes to Emilie (L6), who plays international lacrosse for Scotland. Middle school achieved fifth, however, we were commended by the sports department for our well-spirited attitude. 

We finished the term on a high note, performing our play based on what happened next to Mike TV, the Roald Dahl character. It followed him through his journey in a television and received plenty of laughs from the audience. Dani (L4)’s performance of Mike impressed the adjudicator so much that she was awarded Best Middle School Actress.

Our house art exhibition was awarded best Middle School piece by Esther (L5); massive well done to everyone’s hard work towards putting together a beautiful display.

By achieving third place for the Merit Cup, we are so pleased that our courtesy and kindness around school has been recognised.

In terms of our charitable endeavours, the Merriman Christmas Fair was a huge success in supporting charities that funded: the Indonesia and Yemen crises aid; reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans; and children with mental health issues. Overall, we are pleased to announce that we raised £1,517.15.

House communion in the spring term was enjoyed by all with a very moving service based on the theme of “Resilience”. The charities of Shooting Star Chase and the Meath Epilepsy centre were generously supported throughout the service. A stunning order of service cover was designed by Isobel (L6) and the musical accompaniment created a peaceful atmosphere.

The highlight of the year would have to be the gym and singing competitions where we placed second and first, respectively. This was such a great reward at the end of the term full of hard work and practice. Not only did Dani (L4) win the gym solo, but participation in the other events was at an all-time high. For our winning renditions, we sang Your Song by Elton John, and a Sound of Music medley, expertly arranged by Emily (U6) and Izumi (U6). It was truly a stunning performance and we were so proud of each and every member of the house.

What sports day lacked in results, we made up for in the copious amounts of house spirit and enthusiasm. The house picnic was once again was a great way to finish the year within the house.

At long parliament, we succeeded in achieving second place for the Merit Cup, an improvement since the autumn term; and well done to Milly (L6) who received the Boarding trophy. It was a sad goodbye to the U6, and we would like to thank them for all their hard work and liveliness within the house. The former house captains, Emily (U6) and Phoebe (U6), will be sorely missed for all their enthusiasm and support. They are definitely difficult shoes to fill but we are looking forward to leading the house to more success next year.


MERRIMAN – The Reverend Joseph Merriman (1835 – 1905)

The Reverend Joseph Merriman was born in 1835, the son of a Norfolk farmer.   He attended St John’s College, Cambridge University and was ordained a deacon at Ely in 1862.  After teaching briefly at Bradfield College he became, at only 29 years of age, the first Head Master and Bursar of The Surrey County School (later Cranleigh School).  

He was Head of the School for 26 years and it was during this period that he joined the original founding committee of St Catherine’s School (also including Musgrave, Ashcombe and Midleton).   In fact, it was Joseph Merriman who presented the first paper to the committee on the need for such a school. His paper reveals the thinking of a man very much of his time and profession.   There is clear vision of “the need to educate women but for a role that is limited!  The girls’ education is to be for the good of the nation and at this period for the growing Empire.”  He proposed that girls be prepared in groups of twenty so as “to avoid all the evils that you feared or imagined as likely in massing together large numbers of girls!”.

On his retirement from Cranleigh School, he became Rector of Freshwater on the Isle of Wight until his death, aged 71, in 1905.  He married Julia Wells in 1868 and they had 6 children, 2 boys and 4 girls.

The School Magazine of June 1905 reports his death. 

“Since the publication of our last Magazine there has passed away one whose name must ever be inseparably connected with our School, the Rev. Dr. Merriman, Rector of Freshwater, first headmaster of Cranleigh School, and one of the founders of our own School.  The news of his death on January 27th came upon us with an overwhelming sense of loss, all the more keenly felt because, hardly more than 48 hours before he died, he had been in our midst at St Catherine’s, performing with his unvarying thoroughness and energy his work as auditor of the school accounts.  It is impossible to estimate all that St Catherine’s owes to his wise counsel, which was ever at our disposal, and surely to him we may well apply Tennyson’s well-known words:- “Rich in saving common sense, And, as the greatest only are, In his simplicity sublime”.

You can see his painting in the corridor to Chapel.    His great-great nephew, Richard Merriman came to visit school in 2015 and is pictured with the painting of Joseph Merriman (quite similar!)

The stained glass window in Chapel depicting St Etheldreda is dedicated to Joseph Merriman “We pray you remember in the Lord the Rev Joseph Merriman, DD, first Headmaster of Cranleigh School, and one of our chief founders.  In grateful recollection of his zeal and devotion to St Catherine’s, this window is dedicated.” 

Charity Events

Throughout the academic year Merriman is in charge of two key charity events: the annual Christmas fair and the ice-cream selling in the summer. 

The Christmas fair is attended by everyone in the Senior School just before the end of term and all money raised goes to charity.  There are a variety of activities, such as: visiting Santa, hot chocolate sale, buying jewellery, tombola, raffle and much, much more.  It is one of the highlights of the school year. 

In the last few years with all the money we have risen we have supported the following charities:

  • The Charity is the one in Zambia, called 'Za Ma Limu'
  • The DanEley Foundation
  • MND Association (Killimasters)
  • MACS:  a charity that works with children whom have no eyes or undeveloped eyes
  • Look good, feel good: an international cancer support charity
  •  Save the children: Syria Crisis
  • Save the children: Indonesia  and Yemen crisis
  • Young minds : a charity that provide help for young people with mental health problems
  • 5Gyres: a charity that help to reduce the amount of plastic  in the world’s oceans
  • Shooting Star Chase
  • Meath Epilepsy charity