Preston Catholic College

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Preston Catholic College
Preston Catholic College crest.png
Preston Catholic College is located in Preston city centre
Preston Catholic College
Preston Catholic College

Coordinates53°45′22″N 2°42′11″W / 53.7562°N 2.7030°W / 53.7562; -2.7030Coordinates: 53°45′22″N 2°42′11″W / 53.7562°N 2.7030°W / 53.7562; -2.7030
TypeDirect grant grammar school
MottoLatin: Fides
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Established1865 (1865)
Closed1978 (1978)
Local authorityLancashire County Council
OversightSociety of Jesus
Age range11-19

Preston Catholic College was a Jesuit grammar school for boys in Winckley Square, Preston, Lancashire, England. It opened in 1865 and closed in 1978, when its sixth form merged with two other schools to form Cardinal Newman College.


Entrance to the former college, pictured in 2007.

The college began in 1865 in a house in Mount Pleasant (a narrow passage between Winckley Square and Mount Street). In 1879 it moved to 29 Winckley Square and expanded over the next century until, at its peak of 915 pupils in 1970,[1] it occupied the whole of the west side of the square from the northwest corner (number 34) as far south as Garden Street (number 25), with the exception of number 25a and numbers 29 to 32. Classrooms, science laboratories and a swimming pool were built along neighbouring Mount Street in the 1930s. A gymnasium in Garden Street opened in 1970. The college also possessed extensive playing fields one mile (1½ km) south of the college, to which boys walked via the Old Tram Road, a disused tramway.

The introduction of comprehensive schools in Lancashire forced the school, which had become a direct grant grammar school, to stop admitting under-16 pupils from 1978. In that year, its sixth form merged with the sixth forms of the other two Catholic direct grant grammar schools in Preston, namely Winckley Square Convent School and Larkhill Convent Grammar School, to form Newman College. Initially both Winckley Square sites continued to be used, but by 1986 the new college was concentrated at the Larkhill site.[2][3]

Some of the Mount Street buildings have been demolished. The buildings on Winckley Square are used as offices. However the gymnasium and playing fields are still used by Newman College. A blue plaque commemorates the college at its original entrance, number 34.

In 2010, the school was sued by a former pupil over allegations of abuse.[4] The Jesuits were held liable for the abuse by Fr Michael Spencer and the claimant was awarded £55,000 damages.[5] Other contemporaries have also brought sex abuse claims against the Jesuits.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable staff[edit]


  1. ^ Preston Catholic College Magazine, 143, January 1973, p.15
  2. ^ Garlington, pp.76–77
  3. ^ Sartin, p.42
  4. ^ Riazat Butt (27 August 2010). "Catholic church using time limit to suppress child abuse cases, says lawyer". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Ross, D. (2002) "Mark Lawrenson; Confessions of a soccer", The Independent, London, 27 May 2002, accessed online 27 November 2007
  7. ^ Jones, M. (2004), "Exclusive: My Catholic School Hell by Lawro", Sunday Mirror, London, 23 May 2004, accessed online 27 November 2007
  8. ^ "Gregory Doran" in A Dictionary of the RSC by Simon Trowbridge, accessed 27 November 2007
  9. ^ "Othello: The Director" Archived 2007-09-04 at the Wayback Machine on the RSC website, accessed 27 November 2007
  10. ^ "Joseph Delaney" Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, Preston City Council website, accessed 24 October 2009
  11. ^ Baxendale, Leo (1989), On Comedy: The "Beano" and Ideology, Reaper Books, ISBN 978-0951327715 extract on line Archived 2014-10-15 at the Wayback Machine accessed 10 June 2012
  12. ^ Elson, P (2009), "Archbishop Patrick Kelly reflects on 25 years of sweeping change", Liverpool Daily Post, retrieved 6 May 2009
  13. ^ The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1983, revised and updated edition, Times Books, 1984, p. 191.
  14. ^ "The Big Interview: Eddy Brown"[permanent dead link], Lancashire Evening Post, Preston, 14 July 2003, accessed 13 July 2007
  15. ^ James Quinn, The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, Canterbury Press, accessed 15 August 2015
  16. ^ Adrian Henri Biography Chronology 1932–1959, accessed 2 August 2016
  17. ^ Bowen, Phil (2008), A Gallery to Play to: The Story of the Mersey Poets, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9781781386620, p.30