“A group of excited children climbed the stairs at Mr William Park’s book and stationery shop in The Square, Palmerston North. It was their first day at Constance Stanford’s new private school.” ¹ Miss Stanford was the daughter of a local magistrate and these were her foundation students. The name Carncot has associations with Miss Stanford’s Irish origins and the family of Stanford of Carn. The addition of ‘cot’ emerged when Constance wanted a name for her school, then situated in Duke Street (now Princess Street). Her old friend, Ethel Wilson, thought it could be turned into a diminutive and suddenly said, “Carncot” and the name has remained. Carncot relocated a number of times until, in 1998, the former Fitzherbert homestead, in which it had been operating since 1955, was moved forward on its present site and a new school built at the back.
¹ Taken from Dorothy Pilkington’s fascinating book, Carncot, the first hundred years.