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
Lisburn, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Type Voluntary grammar with preparatory department
Motto Quae sursum sunt quaerite - seek the things that are above
Established 1774
Principal Mr Stephen Moore
Enrollment 950

Green, Red and Yellow

Age Range 4 to 18
Denomination Quaker

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 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.

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

In 2011 the school was named by the Sunday Times as the best in Northern Ireland.[1]


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

The latest addition to the school was the East Suite, a teaching building which opened in 2016. It stands in place of the old playground, which was previously the location of the old 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.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]