Mount St Mary's College

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Mount St Mary's College
St marys spinkhill.jpg
Entrance to Mount St. Mary's College
Motto Sine Macula
(Without Blemish)
Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
(For The Greater Glory of God)
Established 1842; 175 years ago (1842)
Type Independent day
with boarding
Religion Roman Catholic, Jesuit
Headmaster Dr Nicholas Cuddihy
Deputy Head Master Mr Christopher McAllister & Mr Jack Murphy
Chairman of Governors Fr Adrian Porter SJ
Founder Fr Randal Lythgoe SJ
Location College Road
Spinkhill, Derbyshire
S21 3YL
England England
53°18′15″N 1°18′57″W / 53.3043°N 1.3158°W / 53.3043; -1.3158Coordinates: 53°18′15″N 1°18′57″W / 53.3043°N 1.3158°W / 53.3043; -1.3158
DfE number 830/6014
DfE URN 113010 Tables
Staff Approx. 180
Students 350
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Campion, Xavier, Loyola
Colours Red, Yellow, Green
Preparatory school Barlborough Hall School
Former pupils Old Mountaineers (OMs)
Registered Charity No. 1117998
Hours in school day 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
5:45 pm leave optional for after school activities

Mount St Mary's College is an independent, coeducational, day and boarding school situated at Spinkhill, Derbyshire, near Sheffield, England. It was founded in 1842 as "The College of the Immaculate Conception at Spinkhill" by Fr Randal Lythgoe, the Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus (better known as the Jesuits), and is still under the trusteeship of the Society. Although most teaching staff are lay members, the school still retains its Catholic ethos and values.[1]

Its affiliated preparatory school is Barlborough Hall School, just 2.2 miles down the road.[2]


The Jesuit mission to England began in 1580 with the secret arrival of Robert Persons, Edmund Campion, and Ralph Emerson. After Campion’s arrest the following year, Persons slipped back to the European mainland where he spent most of the rest of his life preparing others for the Jesuit mission to England. One of the first things he did was to set up a school for English boys who had no hope of receiving a Catholic education in their own country. Many of its students went on to become priests, returning to England to work and in some cases were killed when discovered by the authorities. In England, there were several clandestine schools, one of them was at Stanley Grange in Derbyshire. When this school was discovered and dispersed by the authorities, it did not cease to exist, but was moved to Spinkhill. Spinkhill had been a centre of Jesuit activity from the 1600s.

The Jesuit English Province was organised territorially into a number of "colleges", the North Midlands area being designated the college of the Immaculate Conception. In 1842 it was decided to found a school here in the hamlet of Spinkhill, a property of the Pole family, and that school was designated "The College of the Immaculate Conception at Spinkhill" after the nearby parish church. The founder of the college was Fr. Randall Lythgoe, S.J., Provincial of the Society of Jesus in England.

The college buildings date, in part, from the 16th and 17th centuries, the Sodality Chapel being the earliest remaining building. The Jesuits had a college at Holbeck Woodhouse, near Welbeck, which was raided by the soldiers of Charles II and the furnishings brought to Spinkhill. Joseph Hansom, an architect and inventor of the Hansom Cab, built the first college buildings in 1840. In 1850 the Hopkins wing (girls) was constructed. The new college was begun in 1876 and completed in 1912. The school chapel, designed by Adrian Gilbert Scott, was completed in 1924 as a memorial to former pupils killed in World War I. In the atrium to the chapel can be seen more than 100 names of former pupils of the school killed in the Second Boer War, World War I, and World War II.

In 1939 Barlborough Hall, an Elizabethan manor some two miles from Spinkhill, was acquired to serve as a preparatory school to Mount St Mary's College.

The school was boys-only until the 1970s, when girls were admitted as day students. Girls were allowed to board in 1984.

In September 2006, the constitution of the college and its preparatory school, Barlborough Hall, changed to that of a charitable trust called "Mount St Mary's" whose board of trustees form the present governing body. The Society of Jesus formally transferred property of the two schools, their capital, business and other assets to this trust. While legally separate from the Jesuits, the college is true to the Jesuit traditions, ethos and approach to education.

School years[edit]

Each of the school years are named after different stages of elementary skills:

Chapel exterior
  • Upper Elements (Year 7)
  • Figures (Year 8)
  • Rudiments (Year 9)[3]
  • Grammar (Year 10)
  • Syntax (Year 11)[4]
  • Poetry (Lower Sixth—Year 12)
  • Rhetoric (Upper Sixth—Year 13)[5]

Each year is now individually monitored and supported by a "Head of Line".

For each year, there are three forms and each form applies to one of the schools houses.

  • 7LOY (Year 7, House Loyola)
  • 7XAV (Year 7, House Xavier)
  • 7CAM (Year 7, House Campion)
    • 8LOY
    • 8XAV
    • 8CAM
      • 9LOY
      • 9XAV
      • 9CAM
        • 10LOY
        • 10XAV
        • 10CAM
          • 11LOY
          • 11XAV
          • 11CAM

Sports and recreation[edit]

The school excels in sports, especially rugby, and some of its older students have joined the England Rugby teams along with Scotland, Ireland, Italy, and many other countries.[6] The school has had exchanges in the past with Notre Dame St Sigisbert in Nancy, France, and with Col·legi Casp and Joan 23 school which are in Barcelona. In 2009, the school began an exchange with St. Michel in Saint-Étienne, France.

Mount St Mary's Combined Cadet Forces (CCF) is 100-years-old. Pupils in Year 10 upwards can join either the Army or (from 1984 onwards) RAF section.[7] The school CCF had its own army regiment until 1986, when it was merged into the Sherwood Foresters regiment.

Music and drama are also of very high calibre. The departments combine for major productions, as with Me and My Girl in November 2012.[8]

The Mount's new art department includes design and technology, fashion, fine art, and photography, making this subject a popular choice with pupils.

Extra-curricular activities are a central part of the school's ethos of supporting a well-rounded education. Activities include: shooting, airfix club, choirs, sports groups, Duke of Edinburgh, Young Enterprise, debate, textiles, creative writing, fencing, Clay Model Animation Club, and many more.[9]

The school also holds fund-raising events for the Chikuni Mission in Zambia: the connection is known as "Mwabuka", a Tonga word for "Good morning" or "You have arisen".

School facilities[edit]

Along with a Grade 1 Olympic Athletics track, there are nine rugby pitches, three cricket squares, an astro-turf, two sports halls, and a leisure centre with indoor swimming pool, cardio room, and two weights rooms. The latter is open to the public for use at specific times and is run by Nuffield Health.

There is a dedicated Sixth Form Centre for individual study and relaxing, bridging the gap between school and university. A new teaching and learning programme also supports and develops individual learning along with an enrichment programme - called the Bellarmine Society - of well-known outside speakers that encourages Sixth Formers to realise their ambitions.

The boarding community comprises UK and international pupils who choose to board either full-time, on a weekly or flexi basis. Hopkins House, which accommodates the girl boarders, was refurbished during summer 2016 as part of an ongoing programme of investment to maintain high standards of living for the boarders.

The school has various other facilities open to all pupils;[10]

Rugby fields
  • ICT Suites
  • Learning Resources Centre
  • Swimming pool
  • Indoor gym for team games
  • Gyms for fitness training
  • A floodlit, outdoor, all-weather playing surface
  • School grounds and pitches
  • Four school common rooms
  • Tuck shop available to all years
  • Music practice rooms and a recital hall
  • Theatre
  • Infirmary: 8 am – 7 pm weekdays, otherwise 24/7 "on call"[11]

Notable mountaineers[edit]

Old boys (or alumni) are known as "Mountaineers".


  1. ^ Mount St. Mary's Spiritual Life
  2. ^ Barlborough Hall site
  3. ^ Mount St. Mary's College Academic Life p.10
  4. ^ Mount St. Mary's College Academic Life p.19
  5. ^ Mount St. Mary's College Academic Life p.10
  6. ^ MSM - SPORT "MSM - SPORT", Mount St Mary's College, Retrieved on 19 April 2013.
  7. ^ MSM - CCF (RAF&ARMY) "MSM - CCF (RAF&ARMY)", Mount St Mary's College, Retrieved on 19 April 2013.
  8. ^ MSM - DRAMA "MSM - DRAMA", Mount St Mary's College, Retrieved on 19 April 2013.
  9. ^ MSM - EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES "MSM - EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES", Mount St Mary's College, Retrieved on 19 April 2013.
  10. ^ MSM - Pastoral Care - Facilities "MSM - Pastoral Care - Facilities", Mount St Mary's College, Retrieved on 19 April 2013.
  11. ^ MSM - Health Care "MSM - Health Care", Mount St Mary's College, Retrieved on 19 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Person - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 2017-08-07. 

External links[edit]