|Motto||Dieu le ward
(Anglo-Norman for God the protector)
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (Benedictine)|
|Local authority||North Yorkshire|
|DfE URN||121735 Tables|
|Colours||Black and Red|
|Former pupils||Old Amplefordians|
|Affiliated school||St Martin's Ampleforth|
Ampleforth College is a coeducational independent day and boarding school in the village of Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, England. It opened in 1802 as a boys' school, and is run by the Benedictine monks and lay staff of Ampleforth Abbey.
- 1 History
- 2 Education
- 3 School life
- 4 Religious life
- 5 Houses
- 6 Sport
- 7 Controversies
- 8 Notable Old Amplefordians
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The college began as a small school for 70 boys founded by Benedictine monks, at Ampleforth Abbey, in 1802. The school formally constituted as a Roman Catholic boarding school in 1900. Various buildings were slowly added, including the school theatre which was built in 1909. The first performances took place in 1910, and in 1922 a cinema projector was acquired, but could not be used until the following year when electric lighting and central heating were installed.
The first boarding houses were founded in 1926 to accommodate the growing pupil numbers. In 1929, the Abbey gained ownership of Gilling Castle and opened a preparatory school. Gilling Castle Prep merged with the college's junior school in 1992 before taking on its current name St Martin's Ampleforth after absorbing another nearby prep school.
In 2002, girls were admitted for the first time when the sixth form became coeducational. The first girls' boarding house, St Margaret's, was opened in 2004. Coeducation was extended to the Year 9 intake for the 2010–11 academic year and the college is now fully coeducational.
Since the Catholic emancipation, Ampleforth gained a reputation as one of several schools, alongside The Oratory School and Stonyhurst, popular with the Catholic aristocracy and labeled the "Catholic Eton". Many Old Amplefordians are scions of prominent recusant families, including the Kerrs (Marquesses of Lothian), Frasers (Lords Lovat), Crichton-Stuarts (Marquesses of Bute) and Fitzalan-Howards (Dukes of Norfolk).
In 1895, the North Eastern Railway built a 3 foot (0.91 m) gauge tramway from Gilling station on the Thirsk to Malton Line. The tramway was horse drawn and provided coal for the college to produce gas. It also transported passengers in open wagons. The tramway closed in 1923 when the college changed to electric lighting.
The school's primary concern is to provide pupils with not just academic, sporting and other achievements, but also "a spiritual compass for life": moral principles to give guidance in a secular world; within a context where the "Benedictine ethos permeates pupils’ experience".
The Good Schools Guide called the school an "Unfailingly civilised and understanding top co-educational boarding Catholic school that has suffered from time to time as a result of its long liberal tradition." The Guide adds also that there is "A refreshing openness and honesty about the place these days."
Its academic admissions policy is not as exacting as that exercised by some other English public schools. As a result, the school is typically between 150 – 200 in the annual league tables of public examination results, although it was ranked 6th nationally in the 2004 "value added" table. It maintains a scholarship set, with about 5% of pupils gaining the offer of a place at Oxford or Cambridge. More than 90% go on to university.
Though originally only a boys' school the college is now fully co-educational. In 2009 an OFSTED Social Care report said that the overall quality of care was outstanding.
The monks at the Abbey belong to the Community of St Laurence (a House of the English Benedictine Congregation), who trace their origins back nearly 1000 years to medieval Westminster. Although there are 81 monks at Ampleforth, only about 12 are in contact with the students, with another 2 in St Martin's Ampleforth. As a result of the school's association with the monks, religion is central to the life of the school. All pupils are expected to take religious education all the way through school. Mass is attended by all pupils twice a week, once on a weekday in the house, and once on Sunday in the Abbey Church. In addition, each house has prayers each morning and evening.
The school has a boys' choir, the Schola Cantorum, which sings at High Mass on Sunday and also at a choral Mass on Friday nights during term time. The choir has made various recordings, broadcasts and tours throughout the world. There is also now a girls' choir, Schola Puellarum, which was recently noted in both newspaper and magazine. They sing a service every Thursday, and they sing on Holy Days of Obligation in High Mass each Sunday. They have been on a tour to Dublin, and sang in many of the well-known churches there.
The school is arranged into ten houses, with pupils living in separate house buildings, eating together as a house for lunch 6 days a week, and playing sport in inter-house competitions. Each house is named after a British saint. Boys houses are St Cuthbert's, St Dunstan's, St Edward-Wilfrid's (originally two separate houses), St Hugh's, St John's, St Oswald's, and St Thomas's, and girls, St Aidan's, St Bede's and St Margaret's.
Some houses are paired into buildings named after people who have been instrumental in the school's history. Hume House building, named after Cardinal Basil Hume, combines St Cuthbert and St Edward-Wilfrid houses. Nevill House building combines St Dunstan and St Oswald houses. Bolton House building was formerly St Edward and St Wilfrid houses before their merger in 2001. Fairfax House building combines St Margaret and St Hugh houses.
Sport is a part of school life, with pupils participating in a variety of sports including rugby, shooting, tennis, cricket and football. As well as many rugby and cricket pitches set in the 2000 acres (8 km²) of the valley, the school runs the St Alban's Centre (SAC), a sports centre with a large hall (also used for school assemblies and official ceremonies), a 25-metre swimming pool, three squash courts, and a fitness suite. SAC is also open to the general public for a fee.
The school has a sporting history, mostly regarding rivals Sedbergh School and Stonyhurst College, both of whom play Ampleforth in about twenty boys' and girls' sports annually. The highlight of the sporting year is the annual rugby match between Sedbergh and Ampleforth in which the most recent match was won by Ampleforth 41-0.
In September 2005, Ampleforth was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found by the Office of Fair Trading to be operating a fee-fixing cartel in breach of the Competition Act of 1998. All of the schools were ordered to abandon this practice, pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 (£30,000 for foreign students) and make ex-gratia payments totalling three million pounds into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared. However, Mrs Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that they were unaware that the law had changed.
The school has periodically experienced a drugs problem. A 2003 TV documentary made by director Dan Barraclough highlighted large-scale breaking of the school rules on smoking and some abuse of alcohol.
Several monks and three members of the lay teaching staff molested children in their care over several decades. In 2005 Father Piers Grant-Ferris admitted 20 incidents of child abuse. This was not an isolated incident. The Yorkshire Post reported in 2005: "Pupils at a leading Roman Catholic school suffered decades of abuse from at least six paedophiles following a decision by former Abbot Basil Hume not to call in police at the beginning of the scandal."
The College has since put in place a safeguarding policy which follows the local inter-agency procedures of the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board and the guidance given in the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010 and the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools.
Notable Old Amplefordians
- Anthony Ainscough (1906–1986), Prior of Ampleforth Abbey, 1961–1963
- Athanasius Allanson (1804–1876), Benedictine monk, and Abbot of Glastonbury, 1874–1876
- Thomas Burgess (1791–1854), Roman Catholic Bishop of Clifton, 1851–1854
- Columba Cary-Elwes (1903–1994), monastery founder, ecumenist and author
- Ambrose Griffiths (1928–2011), Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle
- Abdur Raheem Green (born 1962), convert to Islam and founder of the iERA
- John Cuthbert Hedley (1837–1915), Roman Catholic Bishop of Newport, 1881–1915
- Basil, Cardinal Hume (1923–1999), Abbot of Ampleforth Abbey, 1963–1975, and Archbishop of Westminster, 1975–1999
Politics, law and business
- Don Agustín Jerónimo de Iturbide y Huarte (1807–1866), Prince Imperial of Mexico
- Julian Asquith, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith (1916–2011), diplomat
- Richard Norton, 8th Baron Grantley, retired banker & politician
- Sir Hugh Fraser (1918–1984), Secretary of State for Air, 1962–1964
- Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg (born 1921), Grand Duke of Luxembourg, 1964–2000
- Auberon Herbert (1922–1974), campaigner for Eastern European causes
- Michael Nolan, Baron Nolan (1928–2007), Law Lord and first chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life
- Andrew Bertie (1929–2008), first British Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller since 1258 (1988–2008)
- John George (1930–2012), HM Kintyre Pursuivant of Arms, herald and author.
- David Hennessy, 3rd Baron Windlesham (born 1932), Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords, 1973–1974
- John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute (1933–1993), Chairman, Historic Buildings Council for Scotland, 1983–1988, and National Museums of Scotland, 1985–1993
- King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho (1938–1996), King of Lesotho (1966–1970, 1970–1990, 1995–96)
- Peter Kerr, 12th Marquess of Lothian, Scottish Peer, Landowner & Politician
- Michael Ancram, 14th Marquess of Lothian (born 1945), Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party, 2001–2005
- Robert Shirley, 14th Earl Ferrers
- Sir Anthony Bamford (born 1945), Chairman, J.C.Bamford (Excavators) Ltd.
- John Burnett, Baron Burnett (born 1945), former Liberal Democrat MP for Torridge and West Devon, 1997–2001, 2001–5, Life Peer (2006–present)
- William Peel, 3rd Earl Peel (born 1947), Lord Chamberlain
- John Home Robertson (born 1948), former Labour MP and currently Member of the Scottish Parliament
- Matthew Festing (born 1949), second British Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller since 1258 (2008–present)
- Raymond Asquith, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith (born 1952), former diplomat and businessman
- Major-General Miles Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk (1915–2002), Earl Marshal
- Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk (born 1956), Earl Marshal
- Dominic Asquith (born 1957), Ambassador to Iraq, 2006—2007, Ambassador to Egypt, 2007–present.
- King Letsie III of Lesotho (born 1963), King of Lesotho (1990–95, 1996–present)
- Paul Moore, whistleblower sacked from HBOS
Arts, entertainment, writing
- Herbert Railton (1857–1910), illustrator
- Roderic O'Conor (1860–1940), artist
- Harman Grisewood (1906–1997), Chief Assistant to the Director-General of the BBC, 1955–1964
- Vincent Cronin (born 1924), historical writer and biographer
- Patrick Reyntiens (born 1925), stained glass artist
- John Bunting (1927–2002) sculptor and teacher
- Mark Burns (1936–2007), actor
- Hugo Young (1938–2003), journalist
- Paul Morrissey (born 1938), film director
- Andrew Knight (born 1939), journalist, editor, and media magnate
- Michael Whitehall (born 1940) producer, agent, television personality; father of comedian Jack Whitehall
- Piers Paul Read (born 1941), writer
- Andrew Festing (born 1941), British Royal Portrait painter
- Stuart Reid (born 1942), journalist, pundit
- Lord Anthony Crichton-Stuart, art historian
- Red Morris, 4th Baron Killanin (born 1947), film producer
- Michael Abney-Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun, noted because of the documentary Britain's Real Monarch
- Julian Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford (born 1949), actor and writer; Conservative peer of the House of Lords (2011–)
- Antony Gormley (born 1950), sculptor
- Edward Stourton (born 1957), journalist
- Martin Jennings (born 1957) sculptor
- Lu Edmonds (born 1957) musician (Public Image Ltd., The Damned, The Mekons, The Spizzles, The Waterboys, among others)
- Julian Wadham (born 1958), actor
- Rupert Everett (born 1959), actor
- Joe Simpson (born 1960), mountaineer and autobiographer
- Peter Bergen (born 1962), author, print and TV journalist, CNN, adjunct professor, Johns Hopkins University
- John Micklethwait (born 1962), editor-in-chief of The Economist
- James Honeyborne (born 1970), TV and film director
- James O'Brien (born 1972), radio presenter and journalist
- Tom Waller (born 1974), film producer
- Henry Hudson (born 1982), artist
- Guy Mankowski (born 1983), writer
- James Norton (born 1985), film, television and stage actor
- Major-General Sir Freddie de Guingand (1900–1979), Chief of Staff to Field Marshal Montgomery, 1942–1945
- Brigadier Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat (1911–1995), Pioneering officer of the British Army's commandos.
- Colonel Sir David Stirling (1915–1990), founder of the SAS
- Major General Lord Michael Fitzalan-Howard (1916–2007), Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps 1972–1981
- Sir Ian James Fraser MC (1923-2003),director-general of the Takeover Panel and chairman of Lazards, Scots Guards 1942-46
- Michael Allmand (1923–1944), Victoria Cross recipient (posthumous). Killed In Action on 24 June 1944, in Burma.
- Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles (born 1939), soldier
- Major General Sir Sebastian Roberts (born 1954), GOC The Household Division 2003–2007
- Major-General Peter Grant Peterkin (born c.1947), Sergeant at Arms of the House of Commons
- Captain Robert Nairac (1948–1977), George Cross, intelligence officer murdered by the Provisional Irish Republican Army
- Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Johnston, GCVO, MC, Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain's office
Philosophy and academia
- Gabriel Turville-Petre (1908–1978), Professor of Ancient Icelandic Literature and Antiquities, University of Oxford, 1953–1975
- Henry Wansbrough (1934), Master of St Benet's Hall, Oxford, 1990–2004
- Fred Halliday, (1946–2010), academic, Fellow of the British Academy, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at London School of Economics
- Philip Lawrence (1947–1995), headmaster and murder victim
- William Dalrymple (born 1965), historian
- Robert Maximilian de Gaynesford (born 1968), philosopher
Science and medicine
- John Polidori (1795–1821), physician and writer
- Thomas Cecil Gray (1913–2008), pioneered modern anaesthetic techniques
- Peter Christopher Caldwell (1927-1979), FRS, zoologist.
- Bill Inman (1929–2005), pharmacovigilance pioneer
- Edward O'Donovan Crean (born 1887), English rugby union player who was part of the first official British and Irish Lions team that toured South Africa in 1910.
- Charles Grieve (1913–2000), cricketer who played for Oxford University and Guernsey
- John Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute (b. 1958), a Scottish peer and former racing driver ("Johnny Dumfries")
- "Ampleforth College: Our Mission". College.ampleforth.org.uk. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- History of the Ampleforth Community
- Theatre – A brief history
- Girls' Houses – St Margaret's
- "Ampleforth College to admit Year 10 girls". York Press. 23 December 2009.
- "Is this why Downton's creator is obsessed by class? Julian Fellowes' ancestors were not masters but SERVANTS on the estate that inspired the Abbey". The Daily Mail. 26 November 2011.
- "Have posh Catholics had their day?". The Catholic Herald. 2 July 2015.
- "Gilling Railway Station". Disused Stations. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- "Ampleforth College: An Introduction from the Headmaster". College.ampleforth.org.uk. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- "Ampleforth College: School Development Plan Explored Further". College.ampleforth.org.uk. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- "Ampleforth College, York – The Good School Guide". Goodschoolsguide.co.uk. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- Ampleforth College – School Development Plan 2006–2007
- Profile at OFSTED
- The Office of Fair Trading: OFT names further trustees as part of the independent schools settlement
- Halpin, Tony (10 November 2005). "Independent schools face huge fines over cartel to fix fees". The Times (London).
- "Private schools send papers to fee-fixing inquiry". The Daily Telegraph (London). 1 March 2004. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
- Drugs inquiry opens at top Catholic school, Yorkshire Post, 8 July 2005.
- "How Television smoked out the secret life of Ampleforth", Yorkshire Post, 23 April 2003.
- Ampleforth child abuse scandal hushed up by Basil Hume, The Yorkshire Post, 18 November 2005.
- Ampleforth College: Child Protection Policy – Independent Day and Boarding School for Boys and Girls
- "HEDLEY, Rt. Rev. John Cuthbert". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. pp. 815–816.
- The Catholic Who's who and Yearbook edited by Francis Cowley Burnand, Published by Burns & Oates., 1940, page 39
- The Ampleforth Journal, published by Ampleforth Abbey (York, England), Item notes: 14 (1908–1909), p. 233
- The Ampleforth Journal, by Ampleforth Abbey (York, England), Page 234, Item notes: 14 (1908–1909)
- Ampleforth College official site
- Ampleforth official umbrella site
- Old Amplefordsians
- Profile at the Good Schools Guide
- Special report