Ratcliffe College

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Ratcliffe College
Motto Legis Plenitudo Charitas
(Charity is the fulfilment of the law)
Established 1845
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Roman Catholic (Rosminians)
Headmaster Mr. Gareth P. Lloyd
Founder Blessed Father Antonio Rosmini-Serbati
Location Leicester
England Coordinates: 52°43′46″N 1°04′33″W / 52.729444°N 1.075833°W / 52.729444; -1.075833
DfE number 855/6001
DfE URN 120316 Tables
Students 673
Gender Coeducational
Ages 3–18
Publication The Ratcliffian
Former pupils Old Ratcliffians
Website www.ratcliffe-college.co.uk

Ratcliffe College is a coeducational Catholic independent boarding and day school in the village of Ratcliffe on the Wreake, Leicestershire, approximately 7 miles (11 km) from Leicester, England. The college, situated in 100 acres (0.40 km2) of parkland on the Fosse Way about six miles (10 km) north of Leicester, was founded on the instructions of Blessed Father Antonio Rosmini-Serbati in 1845 as a seminary. In 1847, the buildings were converted for use as a boarding school for upper-class boys. The college became coeducational under the presidency of Father Tony Baxter in the mid-1970s. As of the 2009–2010 academic years, there were 675 students on roll at Ratcliffe, from ages 3 to 18.[1]

The school buildings were designed by the Victorian Gothic revivalist Augustus Welby Pugin. Pugin, who is associated with Catholic architecture throughout the Midlands and north of England, is also noted for his collaboration with Charles Barry in the reconstruction of the Palace of Westminster. The Square was designed by Charles Francis Hansom, brother of Joseph Hansom, the designer of the Hansom cab. various building works over the years have contributed to Pugin and Hansom's work, and modern buildings include a "new" gothic refectory (constructed in the early years of the twentieth century) and a Byzantine-style church.


The school, operated by Rosmini's Institute of Charity, used to use the title "Father President" for the most senior member of staff who, up until 1996, was always a Father of the Institute. In 1996, the school appointed its first lay President, Tim Kilbride, and the position was renamed Headmaster. He was succeeded in 2000 by Peter Farrar.

The Head is assisted by a Senior Deputy Head (Mrs Clayfield) and a Second Deputy Head (Mr. Reddin), who take responsibility for academic and pastoral concerns respectively. They are joined on a 'Senior Leadership Team' by the Assistant Head, Director of Finance and Head of the Junior School.

Ratcliffe College, the front

Former presidents and headmasters[edit]

  • Father Peter Hutton IC 1851 – 1880
  • Father Joseph Hirst IC 1880 – 1895
  • Father Joseph Cremonini IC 1895 – 1919
  • Father Aloysius Emery IC 1919 – 1923
  • Father Cuthbert Emery IC, MA 1923 – 1948
  • Father Claude Leetham IC, BA 1948 – 1962
  • Father John Morris IC 1962, MA, BSc 1962 – 1973
  • Father Anthony Baxter IC, MA 1973 – 1982
  • Father William Fearon IC, BA 1982 – 1983
  • Father Lancelot Hurdidge IC, BA 1983 – 1993
  • Father Keith Tomlinson IC, MA 1993 – 1996
  • Mr. Timothy Kilbride 1996 – 1999
  • Mr. Peter Farrar 1999 – 2009
  • Mr. Gareth Lloyd 2009 – present

Cricket ground[edit]

The college cricket ground is used by the college cricket team. The first recorded use of the ground came in 1948, when Ratcliffe College played King Edward's School, Birmingham.[2] The ground has also played host to a single List-A match, when the Leicestershire Cricket Board played Denmark in the 1st round of the 2003 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy which was played in 2002.[3]

House system[edit]

Although the college has used various house systems throughout its history, the current system was established in 1991. There is no strong house rivalry, as in many other independent schools, due to the nature of the school as coeducational and containing a mix of boarding and day students.

There are four houses named after major figures in the College's history:

  • Emery (named for Father Cuthbert Emery, a former president) St Michael, St Francis, St Maria Goretti, St Ignatius, St, Dominic, St David
  • Leetham (named for Father Claude Leetham, a former president) St Patrick, St Kieran, St John of the Cross, St Francis Xavier, St Peter, St Michael
  • De Lisle (named for Ambrose De Lisle, early patron of the college and Catholic revivalist) St Joseph, St Kevin, St Barnabas, St Chad,
  • Arundel (named for Lady Arundel, an early patron of the college and relative of Catholic Duke of Norfolk) St Stephen, St Canice, St Pio, St Gregory, St Thomas Aquinas
School Combined Cadet Force in the Square

Ratcliffe is well known for good GCSE and A-level results with the school appearing in the top 500 schools in the country

Old Ratcliffians[edit]

Former pupils of Ratcliffe are known as Old Ratcliffians. They include:


  • Ratcliffe College 1847–1947 edited by Rev. C. R. Leetham with an Appendix at the back entitled 'Alphabetical List of Students 1847–1950'[4]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Other matches played on Ratcliffe College
  3. ^ List A Matches played on Ratcliffe College
  4. ^ From a copy of book published by the Ratcliffian Association in 1950 which contains black-and-white photographs

External links[edit]