Loretto School

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Loretto School
Established 1827
Type Independent day and boarding school
Headmaster Graham Hawley
Founder Thomas Langhorne
Location Linkfield Road
East Lothian
EH21 7RE
Staff 232
Students 615
Gender co-educational
Ages 0–18
Houses School, Pinkie, Hope, Seton, Balcarres, Holm
Colours Langhorne, Tristam, Greenlees, Mackintosh.
Publication The Lorettonian
Former pupils Old Lorettonians
Website Loretto School

Loretto School, founded in 1827, is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 0 to 18. The campus occupies 85 acres (34 ha) in Musselburgh, East Lothian.[1]


The school was founded by the Reverend Thomas Langhorne in 1827. Langhorne came from Crosby Ravensworth in Westmorland. He named the school for Loretto House, his then home, which was itself named for a medieval chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto which had formerly stood on the site of the school. The school was later taken over by his son, also Thomas Langhorne. The last link with the Langhorne family was Thomas' son John, who was a master at Loretto from 1890 to 1897, and later headmaster at John Watson's Institution.[2][3] Loretto was later under the headmastership of Dr. Hely Hutchinson Almond from 1862 to 1903.[4]

The school originally accepted only boys, but in 1981 girls joined the sixth form and in 1995 the third form, so making the school fully co-educational by 1995.[5]

In 2001 the film director Don Boyd published an article in The Observer detailing his systematic sexual abuse by a teacher in the school.[6] The revelation led to further allegations about the teacher from other former pupils and subsequent calls for the teacher's prosecution.[7][8] The teacher, then 79 years old, was charged, but the case was dropped on the grounds of his ill health.[9][10] The teacher subsequently died.[7] In 2017, it was announced that the school would be investigated as part of Lady Smith's inquiry into child sexual abuse.[11]

Although the school is not the oldest independent school in Scotland (it is nearly 200 years younger than George Heriot's School), it claims to be the oldest Scottish boarding school.[12]


Loretto's campus includes Pinkie House as well as a 300-seat theatre and 600 seat Chapel. The school is made up of three parts – the Nursery for children aged 0–5, the Junior School ('The Nippers') for children aged 5 – 12 and the Senior School for those aged 12 and over. Pupils attend as boarders, flexi-boarders and day pupils and are all attached to a specific house. Houses include Schoolhouse (for day pupils), Seton house (for 2nd to 5th form boarder boys), Holm house (for 2nd to 5th form girls), Balcarres house (for 6th form girls), Pinkie (for 6th form boys) and Hope house (for 6th form boys). It was announced on 27 June 2018 that Almond house (for 6th form girls) would close at the end of the academic year due to a falling school roll.[13]

Loretto Golf Academy[edit]

The Loretto Golf Academy, established in 2002, offers golf to over 250 pupils using the local links courses and the School's new Indoor Golf Centre.[14]


Notable alumni[edit]

For a more inclusive list see Category:People educated at Loretto School, Musselburgh

Notable Old Lorettonians include:


  1. ^ "Welcome to Loretto School". Lorettoschool.co.uk. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  2. ^ The Langhorne Memorial, The Levite, Vol IV, No.7 (Spring 1927)
  3. ^ John Langhorne's grandfather (also John Langhorne, master of Giggleswick school) was the cousin and neighbour of Thomas Langhorne senior. See Crosby Ravensworth archives
  4. ^ Eunson, John (2012). Sporting Scots: How Scotland Brought Sport to the World–and the World Wouldn't Let Us Win. Black & White Publishing. ISBN 978-1845024147. 
  5. ^ "Loretto School to go fully co-educational". Herald Scotland. 29 June 1994. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Don Boyd (19 August 2001). "Don Boyd: A suitable boy | From the Observer | The Observer". Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Sexually abused during his time at Loretto School, Don Boyd returns to Edinburgh and launches a book incorporating his abuse - News - Scotsman.com". Living.scotsman.com. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "UK news in brief". The Guardian. 26 August 2001. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Ex-Teacher Charged With Sexual Encounter With Pupil – Education News". redOrbit. 9 March 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  10. ^ James McKillop and Graeme Smith (25 August 2001). "'I am in total shock. It feels as if I am being hung, drawn, and quartered' Retired teacher hit by abuse allegations shuts door to Herald inquiries". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  11. ^ "Famous Scottish boarding schools named in child abuse inquiry". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-08-04. 
  12. ^ "Official school website (homepage)". Loretto School. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Inspection Report". 1 February 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2014. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "current capacity of 50 young golfers, places in Loretto's Golf Academy are keenly prized". Lothian News. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Michael Mavor". Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Warsop, Keith (2004). The Early FA Cup Finals and the Southern Amateurs. SoccerData. pp. 126–127. ISBN 1-899468-78-1. 

External links[edit]