Alexandra College

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Alexandra College
Coláiste Alexandra

Coordinates53°18′38″N 6°15′00″W / 53.310527°N 6.249871°W / 53.310527; -6.249871Coordinates: 53°18′38″N 6°15′00″W / 53.310527°N 6.249871°W / 53.310527; -6.249871
TypePrivate day and boarding school
Religious affiliation(s)
Founded1866; 157 years ago (1866)
FounderAnn Jellicoe
School code60910F
PrincipalBarbara Ennis
Age range3 – 18
Colour(s)Red and white

Alexandra College (Irish: Coláiste Alexandra) is a fee-charging boarding and day school for girls located in Milltown, Dublin, Ireland. The school operates under a Church of Ireland ethos.


Alexandra College (on right) c. 1890
Alexandra College, Earlsfort Terrace c1895

The school was founded in 1866[1] and takes its name from Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the school's patron.[2] The school colours, red and white, were adopted from the Danish flag in her honour. Alexandra College was founded by Ann Jellicoe, a Quaker educationist, in the name of furthering women's education. Under Ann Jellicoe, and then later Henrietta White, the school grew from a small establishment focused on providing a governess-style education to Irish Protestant ladies into a pioneering force for women's rights and education, providing an education to women equivalent to that available in boys' schools, with a grounding in mathematics, history, classics and philosophy. As Alexandra settled into its role, Ann Jellicoe was convinced that a major obstacle to the liberal education of women was their exclusion from the university campus. She passionately believed that until women were admitted to Trinity College Dublin (founded in 1592), the voice of women would not commonly be heard in politics, literature or in academic debate.

The Royal University of Ireland Act 1879 allowed females to take university degrees on the same basis as males. Students were prepared for the examinations (including degree examinations) of the Royal University.[3] Susan Parkes, co-author of Gladly Learn and Gladly Teach, a history of Alexandra College (1866-1966), is quoted as saying: "In the late 1800s, lecturers from Trinity College Dublin provided tuition for ladies on the Alexandra campus. And the first women to receive degrees in Ireland or Britain were Alex pupils — six of them successfully studied at Dublin's Royal University from 1891 and at Trinity College Dublin, once it opened its doors to women in 1903."[4]

The school was originally situated in the historic Earlsfort Terrace, across from what is now the National Concert Hall. By 1879, a new hall and theatre were constructed alongside. Over time, the school acquired several more houses and by 1889 a new building by William Kaye-Parry was constructed next door to the college as Alexandra School. The school moved out to its sports grounds in the 1970s in order to accommodate more students. The original buildings were subsequently demolished and the site remained vacant for over two decades. The Conrad Hotel and office buildings were later erected on the site.

Patrick Pearse, the leader of the Easter Rising, was once employed as an Irish language teacher.[5]


Alexandra College is under Church of Ireland management, and the Archbishop of Dublin (who presides over the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough) currently acts as chairman of the school council. The students are addressed weekly by a female minister, and a school assembly is held daily at which Church of Ireland hymns are sung and which finish with the extended version of The Lord's Prayer.

Junior School[edit]

The junior school is completely self-funded and receives no subvention from the Department of Education and Skills. The junior school is run in accordance with Froebelian principles, follows the national curriculum and provides a number of specialized subjects, such as art, French, individual music instrument lessons, speech and drama and a wide array of sports as part of its strong extra and co-curricular programme. Students of all abilities are catered for in the junior school. The pre-school and preparatory department students wear a red tracksuit. This same tracksuit is worn by the older girls for games, PE and sports. Older students in the junior school wear the formal school uniform. It is the same as the formal uniform in the secondary school. The majority of Junior School pupils go on to study and complete their school education at Alexandra College Senior School.


The school fields teams in various sports including women's association football, basketball, cricket, tennis and track and field athletics. The school has a long history of playing field hockey. In 1893 the Alexandra Hockey Club was founded at the school. It claims to be the oldest field hockey club in Ireland. In 1947 it was renamed Old Alexandra Hockey Club. In 1960 the club opened its membership to all players while still retaining a close relationship with the school. The club is still based at the school.[6] The Irish Ladies Hockey Union was established in 1894, following a meeting at Alexandra College. On 2 March 1896 the school also hosted the first ever women's international field hockey match when Ireland defeated England 2–0.[7][8]

When Ireland won the silver medal at the 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup, the squad included three former Alexandra College pupils – Nicola Evans, Deirdre Duke and Emily Beatty. All three represented the school in Leinster Schoolgirls' Senior Cup finals. Alexandra College are the competitions most successful team, winning the cup for the thirteenth time in 2016.[9]

Recent finals
Year Winners Result Runners Up
2016 Alexandra College [9] 4–2 St Gerard's School, Bray
2015 St Gerard's School, Bray[10][11][12] 1–0 Alexandra College
2012 Alexandra College [13][14][15] 4–1 Wesley College
2011 Alexandra College [16] 2–1 [note 1] St. Andrew's College
2010 St. Andrew's College[17][18] 2–0 Alexandra College
2008 Loreto, Beaufort [19][20][21][22] 2–1 Alexandra College
2007 Alexandra College [23] 5–0 St. Andrew's College
2005 Alexandra College [24] 4–2 The High School, Dublin
2004 St. Andrew's College Alexandra College
  1. ^ Alexandra College win with silver goal in extra time.
  2. Source:[25]


    The school was ranked seventh in Ireland in terms of the number of students who progressed to third level and by the types of institutions to which the students progressed.[26]

    The Guild[edit]

    The Guild was founded in 1897, not only to form a bond of union between past and present students and staff, and to keep them in touch with the College, but also to promote a spirit of service to the community and to undertake social and philanthropic work. The Guild has several branches worldwide. Facets of the Guild include the Alexandra College Golfing Society, the Old Alexandra Hockey Club, Alexandra Guild House and the Alexandra College Bursaries, which supports 25 ladies throughout the country and assists families in need around Dublin and elsewhere.

    Notable past pupils[edit]


    1. ^ "Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin, Ireland - History". Archived from the original on 22 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
    2. ^ "Discover Ireland Media Room". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
    3. ^ Ireland Society and Economy 1870 - 1914 Archived 2010-09-10 at the Wayback Machine
    4. ^ Women in Technology and Science Archived 2008-05-18 at the Wayback Machine
    5. ^ Dudley Edwards, Ruth (1977). Patrick Pearse: The Triumph of Failure. London: Faber and Faber.
    6. ^ "Welcome to Old Alex Hockey Club!". Retrieved 19 May 2019.
    7. ^ "Alex celebrate 120th anniversary on St Patrick's Day". 16 March 2013. Archived from the original on 9 September 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
    8. ^ "Living for the days of the big finals Alexandra College". 27 February 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
    9. ^ a b "Alex paint Grange Road red with thrilling Senior Cup success". 25 February 2016. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
    10. ^ "Tice drags St Gerard's to maiden girls Senior Cup victory in front of bumper Grange Road crowd". 5 March 2015. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
    11. ^ "Hockey Leinster Girls Senior Cup: Golden generation lifts first cup for St Gerard's". 13 March 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
    12. ^ "St Gerard's win the Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup title for the first time". Retrieved 15 May 2019.
    13. ^ "Clinical Alex retain Schoolgirl's Senior Cup". 7 March 2012. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
    14. ^ "Hinkson on double as Alexandra retain title". 7 March 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
    15. ^ "Leinster Hockey Senior Schoolgirls Cup Final Wesley College vs Alexandra College". 6 March 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
    16. ^ "McDermott has that silver touch". 5 March 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
    17. ^ "St Andrew's strike late to claim Senior Cup". 3 March 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
    18. ^ "In brief: Pinder magic seals triumph". 3 March 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
    19. ^ "Beaufort best in the gales". 1 March 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
    20. ^ "Loreto, Beaufort 2 Alexandra College 1". 1 March 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
    21. ^ "Hockey: Loreto end long wait for Cup glory". 1 March 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
    22. ^ "Leinster Hockey Senior Cup Final Photos". 29 February 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
    23. ^ "Alexandra getting winning habit". 2 March 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
    24. ^ "Alexandra roll back the years". 2 March 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
    25. ^ "Roll of honour: Leinster Schoolgirls' Hockey Senior Cup". 22 January 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
    26. ^ "High School ranks top in State, says new league table". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 November 2018.

    External links[edit]