Friends' School, Lisburn

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Coordinates: 54°31′05″N 6°02′42″W / 54.518°N 6.045°W / 54.518; -6.045

Friends' School, Lisburn
Friends' School Lisburn logo.png
TypeVoluntary grammar with preparatory department
MottoQuae sursum sunt quaerite - Seek the things that are above
PrincipalStephen Moore
ColoursGreen, Red and Yellow               
Age Range4 to 18

Friends' School, Lisburn is a Quaker voluntary grammar school in the city of Lisburn, Northern Ireland, founded in 1774.


Friends’ School Lisburn was founded - as The Ulster Provincial School - on the basis of a bequest in 1764 of a prosperous linen merchant, John Hancock, who left £1,000 for the purchase of land in or near Lisburn on which to build a school for the children of Quakers. Twenty acres (8 ha) were purchased at Prospect Hill from the Earl of Hertford. In 1774, the first headmaster, John Gough, took up his post. In 1794 The Ulster provincial School became the responsibility of the Ulster Quarterly Meeting, the body representing the Religious Society of Friends in Ulster.

Pupils going to school in the c. 1920s.

In April 2008 the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, visited the school.

Friends' is one of two Quaker schools in Ireland, the other being Newtown School, Waterford. There are eight in the United Kingdom.

The school has been named by the Sunday Times as Northern Ireland Secondary School of the Year. [1] on two occasions: first in 2011 and then in 2017.


The school consists of a fee-paying preparatory department, Prospect House, and a grammar school, the latter of which had, until recently, a boarding department attracting pupils from abroad (mostly Hong Kong). Friends' now only accepts day pupils, with an admissions number of 140 a year contributing to a full enrolment of 970 for the grammar school.[citation needed]

The original school house is no longer standing, but the date stone from it is displayed in Middle House, a building dating from 1880, which was refurbished in 2015. The latest addition to the school was the East Suite, a teaching building opened in 2016. It stands in place of the old basketball court, which was previously the location of the swimming pool. The swimming pool was reputed to be the oldest heated pool in Ireland (1901), and used to stand beside Harding House, a temporary teaching building which was demolished to make space for the East Suite. The school has five tennis courts and three rugby pitches. A Sports Hall was opened in 2000 and two floodlit, sand-dressed hockey pitches were laid in 2013. As well as hosting school fixtures, these pitches are home to South Antrim Hockey Club.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Ian Kirk- (24 November 2011). "Quaker school best in Northern Ireland". The Friend. Retrieved 23 May 2017.

External links[edit]