In 1887, the Marling family set up Marling School in Cainscross Road in memory of S.S. Marling, a successful woollen cloth manufacturer. One reason was their concern that the local cloth industry was falling behind that of Germany, where there was a superior education system. Marling offered scholarships to poor students of proven ability.
The governors bought 7 1/2 acres of land on the north side of Cainscross Road for £1,900, and appointed the London architect, W.H. Seth-Smith, to design the buildings. The school was built by the local firm of R.A. English & Sons in 1889-94 and opened in 1891.
The buildings are in the 'Jacobethan' style, and were built using Quarhouse stone with Bath stone dressings. The great hall has an ornate hammerbeam roof and is linked by a low cloister to the former headmaster's house.