Rydal Penrhos

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Rydal Penrhos
Motto Veritas Scientia Fides
(Truth, Knowledge, Faith)
Established 1885
1999 (mergers)
Type Independent day and boarding
Religion Methodist
Headmaster Patrick Lee-Browne
Chaplain Rev'd Nick Sissons
Founder Thomas Osborn
Location Pwllycrochan Avenue
Colwyn Bay
LL29 7BT
DfE number 662/6019
DfE URN 401972 Tables
Students 185~ (Prep)
410~ (Senior)
Gender Co-educational
Ages 3–18
Houses Morgan
Colours Black, Amber
Website www.rydalpenrhos.com

Rydal Penrhos is an independent co-educational boarding school in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. It is the only Methodist school in the independent sector in Wales.[1] It is located on multiple sites around the town with a site in the neighbouring village of Rhos-on-Sea where it keeps its watersports equipment for easy access to the beach.

Rydal Penrhos has a strong tradition in sports and the arts. The school's 1st teams in both hockey and rugby have, in recent years, been a strong selling point for the school, which thrives on their successes. The 1st XI hockey team, along with the U16 team, have been exceptionally successful in the Welsh Nationals, claiming several titles in the past five years. In 2007, the U16 boys team won the North Wales Final at hockey, only to go on and lose in the final at Nationals.


The school, as it exists today, started life as three separate institutions:

  • Rydal (incorporating the then Rydal Preparatory School, situated on the Erskine House campus and surrounds) has occupied the current school site as, firstly, a boys-only school and later, from the 1980s, a co-educational school.
  • Penrhos College was a girls-only boarding school located near Rhos-on-Sea.
  • Lyndon School was a private preparatory school situated in Colwyn Bay.

Rydal School and Penrhos College became known as Rydal Penrhos School following their merger in 1999. Initially they were run as three separate "divisions": "preparatory", "girls" and "co-educational", reflecting the three formerly separate incarnations. The Penrhos College campus was eventually closed down and sold for re-development, and its pupils moved to the main Rydal campus, with the divisions being amalgamated into a single entity. As with any major institutional reform, the merger and integration project was not without its controversy, not least over the sale of the former Penrhos site and the restructuring of the staff. The associated prep school was known as "Lyndon Preparatory School" following a merger with another local private primary school in 2003. The former Lyndon school campus was disposed of and staff and students were relocated to the larger existing Rydal Preparatory School campus. Penrhos College was founded in 1880 as a Methodist girls' boarding school as a result of the generosity of Reverend Frederick Payne, a wealthy benefactor and Wesleyan minister who lived in Colwyn Bay.

Rydal Mount School was founded by Thomas Osborn in 1885. The boys’ boarding school in the Methodist tradition, was named after the house, which Osborn had acquired from Payne.

In 1887, Payne founded St John's Methodist Church on Pwllycrochan Avenue, which was used regularly by both Rydal and Penrhos. In 2010, the stewardship of St John's was passed to Rydal Penrhos, which needed more space for school worship and special events.

The Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School building was first occupied by Rydal Prep School in 1953. The oldest part of the building was originally the property of Lady Erskine, owner of the Pwllycrochan estate in Colwyn Bay, and was developed as the Pwllycrochan Hotel before being bought by Rydal. Rydal Prep School merged with Penrhos Junior School in 1995 to become Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School. In 2003, Rydal Penrhos Prep School underwent a further merger with Lyndon School, which retained its name until 2010.

Evacuation of Penrhos College[edit]

During World War II, the Penrhos College site was taken over by the government for Ministry of Food use. The Duke of Devonshire, anticipating that schoolgirls would make better tenants than soldiers, offered Chatsworth House for the use of the school. The contents of the house were packed away in eleven days and 300 girls and their teachers moved in for a six-year stay. The whole of the house was used, including the state rooms, which were turned into dormitories. Condensation from the breath of the sleeping girls caused fungus to grow behind some of the pictures. The house was not very comfortable for so many people, with a shortage of hot water, but there were compensations, such as skating on the Canal Pond. The girls grew vegetables in the garden as a contribution to the war effort.

Introduction of the I.B.[edit]

In 2004, the school began to offer the International Baccalaureate programme of study in its Sixth form years, as a parallel alternative to the A-level programme that was already being offered. This led to an increase in the number of pupils attending the school from overseas countries such as Ukraine, Belgium, Canada, Germany, France, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, Russia and the Czech Republic.

First-class cricket[edit]

Rydal School
Rydal Penrhos Pavilion.jpg
The pavilion at New Field, Rydal Penrhos
Ground information
Location Colwyn Bay, Wales
Coordinates 53°17′47″N 3°44′24″W / 53.29639°N 3.74000°W / 53.29639; -3.74000Coordinates: 53°17′47″N 3°44′24″W / 53.29639°N 3.74000°W / 53.29639; -3.74000
Domestic team information
Wales (1929)
Denbighshire (1934)
As of 10 August 2009
Source: CricketArchive

The school's cricket pitch was used as the venue for a first-class match between Wales and the touring South Africans in 1929.[2] The three-day match, played on 10–12 June 1929, resulted in a 10-run victory for the South Africans and saw Bob Catterall of South Africa (117) and William Bates of Wales (102) record centuries.[3] Denbighshire later played a single Minor Counties Championship match against Northumberland at the ground in 1934.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ http://prep.rydalpenrhos.com/more/the_methodist_church/
  2. ^ "First-Class Matches played on Rydal School, Colwyn Bay". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Wales v South Africans, 1929". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Minor Counties Championship Matches played on Rydal School, Colwyn Bay". CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 

External links[edit]