Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe


Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe

Stonyhurst College is the UK's leading independent, Catholic day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18. Stonyhurst offers unparalleled opportunities for the development of outstanding individuals. We believe that, with the right support, every single young person can achieve their personal best in all they do. 

The quality of education a school offers is often measured by academic performance and results. Alongside so much more, our pupils achieve excellent results and our ‘added value’ is impressive; each year, our leavers gain places at top universities such as Oxbridge, Russell group, American and European universities. We now also offer the IB diploma as well as A levels. For the right young person, the IB gives an outstanding preparation for university level study. 

Our pupils achieve on the sports field, and in music, drama and dance. We have a national reputation for rugby and, as a fully coeducational school, a very strong reputation also for hockey and netball. Our musicians have toured to Europe and the Far East. Drama and dance have never been stronger, and we enjoy huge success in outdoor pursuits and in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award.

All of these opportunities, which include 100 clubs and societies each week, and a range of distinguished visiting speakers each term, along with close one-to-one tutorial and pastoral support, help to develop character and expand horizons.

Stonyhurst was founded in 1593 and is the oldest Jesuit school in the world. Jesuit education is rooted in the wisdom, experience and example of St Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus. He believed that education was principally “for improvement in living and learning for the greater glory of God and the common good.”

St Ignatius had founded 46 schools and universities before his death in 1556, making the Jesuits the schoolmasters of Europe. Their systematic, holistic approach shaped much of western education for the next 4 centuries. Today there are 3,780 Jesuit schools, colleges and universities worldwide, educating 3 ½ million young people in 70 countries. Stonyhurst is part of this 4 century continuum, and firmly belongs to this global network.

There could be no better environment for young people to develop their faith. Jesuit schools encourage pupils to understand that education is not just for the recipient but for the good of other people. The Jesuits have always upheld the importance of social justice; of solidarity with the poor and disadvantaged, expressed in action, not just words. At Stonyhurst, there are many opportunities to do voluntary work of some kind, whether it is helping in a local charity shop, building a church in Peru, or teaching English in a remote part of China. We believe the distinctive nature of our school develops strong leadership qualities tempered with a thoughtful compassion and awareness of others.

Come and visit Stonyhurst, and discover more about Jesuit education. Its values are as relevant today as they were over 4 centuries ago.



Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe

Boarding at Stonyhurst College offers an extremely full and enriching educational experience, with boarders flourishing in a safe, happy, ordered environment and vibrant, close-knit community.

Thoughtful, age-appropriate pastoral care encourages boarders to become increasingly self-reliant and considerate, just as they would at home.

In Lower Line (age 13-16), boarders typically share a room with 4 others, reducing as they get older until they have their own study bedrooms in Higher Line (sixth form).

Rated excellent in successive inspections, we continue to upgrade our boarding facilities, most recently adding Weld House with 40 en-suite study bedrooms.

Boys board in year groups, known as Playrooms, which we believe allows boys to feel socially more secure than they might in mixed age groups and to mature at their own pace.

Girls board in our two girls’ boarding houses, each run by a House Mistress and her team.

Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall (Stonyhurst's preparatory school for pupils aged 3 to 13)

At Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall, everyone boards together in the same house, with separate boys and girls galleries for sleeping, separate sitting rooms for relaxing and a joint Playroom and kitchen so pupils can decide how they’d like to spend their social time.

Mr and Mrs Stokes and their son, Arthur live in their flat on the boarding galleries, as do our residential pastoral staff. Their supportive relationships with boarders are caring and involved but encourage increasing independence, just as you would at home.

Boarders typically live in dormitories with 3-5 peers of a similar age, which allows them to mature, grow in confidence and develop socially at an age-appropriate pace. Where possible, we place boarders of similar background and interests together in their first term to help them to settle in, before a considered dormitory reshuffle at half term.



Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe

Stonyhurst College is located in the beautiful Ribble Valley. Its location is rural and yet the school is easily reached from major cities: London Euston is just 2 hours away and Manchester is 1 hour. 

Set in 500 acres, pupil have the space to focus upon the opportunities they have. 

Entry Requirements

Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe

Prospective pupils sit an exam and are interviewed by the Headmaster. Our guiding principle in assessing whether to offer a place to any boy or girl is whether they would cope academically, and would benefit from the very wide range of opportunities available here.



Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe

Scholarships, are awarded on merit, at the Headmaster’s discretion, with academic and music scholarships awarded at 11+, 13+ and 16+, Art and all-rounder scholarships at 13+ & 16+. Scholarships range from a 10% to 50% reduction in full boarding or day fees.



Contact Details

Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe

If you would like to arrange a visit, to meet our staff and pupils, and to find out more about what Stonyhurst has to offer, please contact our Registrar, Mrs Lynnette Carr.

We will be delighted to welcome you.