We are part of a momentous story that dates back to the 16th century when the Society of Jesus, a religious order of priests founded by St Ignatius of Loyola, and better known as Jesuits, came into being.
Ignatius and his small group of like-minded companions received papal approval in 1540. These Jesuits opened their first school in in 1548, in Messina, Italy. Today, not only is the Society of Jesus the largest order in the Catholic Church but the name Jesuit is virtually synonymous with education.
There are more than 3,700 Jesuit schools, colleges and universities, serving 2.5 million students around the world. It is the single most successful educational organisation in history and remains true to the guiding principles laid down by St Ignatius and his first companions.
We are a proud Jesuit school, wholeheartedly committed to the Jesuit principles of education. To learn more about what this means click here.
The origins of Mount St Mary’s College go back to 1620 when Jesuits were teaching, albeit in secret, at Stanley Grange near Derby. In those days Catholics were outlawed and when discovered Stanley Grange was closed down. The Jesuits then moved to Holbeck near Worksop until finally, after the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, Jesuit schooling came into the open. In 1842 the College of Mount St Mary was formally opened in the north Derbyshire village of Spinkhill.
Parts of the current College building are 16th and 17th century, the Sodality Chapel is the earliest remaining building and was used for clandestine worship, at a time of persecution. The awe-inspiring Memorial Chapel was built in 1924 to commemorate the Old Mountaineers who had lost their lives during World War I. Designed by Adrian Gilbert-Scott, it mimics exactly the proportions of the Duomo in Florence.
Barlborough Hall is a Grade I listed country house built in 1583-84 for Sir Francis de Rodes, an Assize Court Judge in York. The design of the mansion is attributed to English architect Robert Smythson, the man also behind Hardwick Hall, Longleat House and Wollaton Hall.
On 2nd May 1939 it opened its doors for the first time as the preparatory school to Mount St Mary’s College. Initially, a boys’ boarding school, its first cohort totalled 35. Within the year Barlborough Hall was requisitioned by the British Army for use during World War II. The boys and the staff took up residence at the College for two terms but were reinstated at Barlborough in time for the start of the summer term in 1940. Today Barlborough Hall is a day school with 175 girls and boys.