Note to visitors: Owls' Nest is located at Buxton Old Road, Disley, SK12 2AR. To download a map with directions to Owls' Nest, click here.
History of Owls' Nest
Over eighty years ago High Master Paton presented Lane Ends Farm and the Hut in Higher Disley to the School. A Trust was created and the property, including fifty-one acres of land, was vested in three Trustees who had to be Governors of MGS, and run by a Committee.
The first camp was held just after Christmas and in 1921 MGS pupils saw in the New Year on the hillside adjacent to the Hut, an ex-army sergeants' mess containing a day-room, sleeping quarters, master's room and kitchen. It housed 20 boys and until the arrival of the electric light in 1930, was lit by lamps. A weekend cost a boy 7s 6d including rail fare.
The outbreak of war in 1939 had immediate repercussions as the Hut was commandeered for evacuee children who lived there. In two months they had left, driven out by the cold of approaching winter. The next year it was used by the Home Guard but on 23 December 1940, the Luftwaffe bombed the Owls' Nest – no-one was hurt but only the new brick-built lavatories survived intact.
High Master Miller expressed the hope that "the new buildings might enable whole forms to reside at Disley in turns." Not until 1950, five years after his retirement were his hopes realised when the Hut – with its new amenities including a shower bath – was reopened and visits cost 15s a head.
A complete restoration of the Hut was undertaken in 1968 with Old Mancunian Sydney Downs as the architect in charge. Most of the money for this extensive work came from an Appeal, which raised over £10,000.
Today Year 7 and 8 pupils spend two days based at the Owls' Nest accompanied by their Form Tutor, Form Prefects, the Head of Lower School and other members of staff. For many boys this is their first experience of communal life away from their parents.
Enjoying the food!
Learning to put up a tent!