About Us

Creating 'men and women for others' since 1593

What is Stonyhurst?

Welcome to the UK's leading co-educational Catholic boarding and day school for 3 - 18 year olds. Our school was originally founded in Saint-Omer, near Calais, in 1593 by Fr Robert Persons SJ under the patronage of Philip II of Spain, we are the oldest continually active Jesuit school in the world. Our story is more than 400 years old and we now sit at the cutting edge in independent education with our traditions to support us. We empower our boys and girls to be the best that they can be, shaping leaders of the future who carry a sense of purpose and a desire to make the world a better place.

Stonyhurst has 800-strong pupil body comprising the 500 pupils of Stonyhurst College (13-18) plus the 300 pupils at the preparatory school, Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall (3-13).  We pride ourselves on our global perspective and we welcome applications from international pupils as well as the UK pupils. With children from over 27 countries, our cultural diversity adds to the richness and global outlook of our school community

We are based in a magnificent Grade I listed building within a secluded and safe 1,000 acre estate, a beautiful rural setting in Lancashire's Ribble Valley. Overlooking Pendle Hill and the magnificent countryside, our location is stunningly peaceful and is inhabited by many varieties of wildlife for pupils to explore and enjoy.

View historic timeline


Pupils at Stonyhurst pursue a life of purpose achieving academic excellence alongside spiritual and emotional growth and learn to embody our school motto, ‘Quant je puis’, meaning ‘as much as I can’, in every activity. Stonyhurst encourages each individual pupil to thrive by enabling them to find, develop and use their unique talents; creating great leaders and preparing our young people to be men and women for others. 

Cura Personalis

We believe in ‘cura personalis’ – development of the whole person. Each individual will experience this differently, based around their interests, talents, choices and personality, but all will benefit from this approach. While academic performance is important, learning and personal growth extends far beyond the classroom at Stonyhurst. We want to continue to excel in something that we have successfully achieved for over 400 years – to shape individuals to be the best that they can be, wherever their strengths and talents may lie.

View our mission and vision


Stonyhurst is a school which constantly looks to innovate and use its proud history and traditions as a lens on the present and future. At the heart of everything that we do is delivering an exceptional education for our pupils and ensuring that their formation, both inside and outside of the classroom, is the best in the world.

John Browne, Head of Stonyhurst

Our school structure


Take a video tour

The four pillars


These four pillars underpin our motto 'Quant Je Puis' and everything we do here at Stonyhurst. We do this to ensure that our pupils enjoy a well-rounded, balanced education and fulfilled life with us.

Academic excellence

Stonyhurst College has an outstanding academic record, with many pupils going on to the best universities in the UK, Europe and around the world. Small class sizes and positive teacher–pupil relationships enable pupils to achieve their full academic potential.

Our continual 100% pass rate is a testament to the school staff and the hard work of our pupils.

Faith that does justice 

At Stonyhurst, all that we do is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God), and every pupil, whatever their religious background, is encouraged to participate in the spiritual life of the school.

We challenge everyone to live out their faith in practical ways, from Lenten ‘fast’ lunches to becoming ‘men and women for others’ through our extensive voluntary service programme.

Perspectives and horizons

The modern world is a complex place, which is why we know how important it is for our pupils to broaden their perspectives and expand their horizons – we want them to think and act both locally and globally. As part of the Global Network of Jesuit Schools, an IB World School and a boarding school that welcomes students from all over the world.

The way we learn

The Jesuit Profile encompasses everything we do here at Stonyhurst. We believe that an Ignatian education creates well-rounded individuals, ready to 'set the world on fire' once they take their final steps down the Avenue.

These qualities create 'men and women for others' with distinct leadership qualities, helping our pupils to thrive, even in the most challenging of situations. 

Stonyhurst is the highest octane school, globally and our strong Catholic values are at the core of not only our education but our pastoral lives.

Jesuit Profile


Outside of the classroom, the Playroom is a wonderful place to be together, it feels just like a family - you have to be there to experience it.

Fonsi, current pupil

What others say...

Maria Current Pupil Testimonial
ISI Report Extra Curricular Quote
Fonsi Current Pupil Testimonial
Good Schools Guide Sports Quote
Good Schools Guide Spiritual Quote
Good Schools Guide Quote
Good Schools Guide Alumni Quote
ISI Report Governance Quote
ISI Report Boarding Quote
Good Schools Guide Collections Quote
Benedict Current Pupil Testimonial
Tatler Schools Guide Quote Setting
Tatler Schools Guide Quote Faith

Set the world on fire

Saint Ignatius Loyola (founder of the Society of Jesus and Jesuit schools), called us to ‘Go forth and set the world on fire’. At Stonyhurst we prepare our children for their future, in which they will use their gifts, knowledge and energies to make the world a better place. 

Stonyhurst in stats


Years old


On-site gym


First choice university


A-C pass rate


Average class size


Pupil nationalities


Oldest continually active Jesuit school


boarders and 30% day pupils


Cricket pavilions


Water-based astro pitch


Gain places at Russell Group universities


Boarding houses




Co-curricular activities at Stonyhurst College


Outdoor learning areas


Dance studio




On-site shooting range


Acres of beautiful countryside


Horse riding and polo activities


Hole golf course


Indoor Grand Slam tennis courts


Sports pitches


Artefacts within our museum


On-site museum


Libraries across the Stonyhurst campus


Instruments available 


On-site, 25-metre swimming pool


Teacher:pupil ratio


Operational observatory

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