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          School is currently only open to the children of critical workers, by prior arrangement. No other visitors are allowed on site. The school calendar is suspended. 


          The History of Loreto

          marywardLoreto College was founded in St Albans in 1922 by members of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The IBVM is a religious order of women founded by a Yorkshire woman, Mary Ward, in the seventeenth century, for the “care of the faith” of Catholics in England.  Since 1609, Mary Ward’s Institute has spread all over the world: Loreto schools are to be found in England, Wales, Ireland, Gibraltar, Spain, Australia, Africa, including South Africa, Mauritius, India, South America, Canada and the U.S.A.  For more details on the Loreto network, click here.

          The order’s most famous teacher is Mother Teresa, canonized in September 2016, who taught religious Studies and Geography at the Loreto Convent in Calcutta for 15 years before being appointed its Principal.  For more on her life and her connection to Loreto, click here.

          When Loreto College opened in St Albans, it was the first school to provide a secondary education for local girls. Since then it has made a considerable contribution to Catholic education in the city and surrounding areas. It has changed character several times over the years, in 1978 becoming a comprehensive school for girls, with an open Sixth Form.



          The School Chapel

          The site is a pleasant mix of old and new buildings set in landscaped gardens of considerable interest. The original building, “The Elms”, was the Convent, now known as the Teresa Ball Building. St Joseph’s, now housing the Psychology and Modern Foreign Languages departments, is a large house bought in 1923 from Samuel Ryder, the seed merchant, founder of the Ryder Cup, and former mayor of St Albans.  If you are interested to learn more about Samuel Ryder, this leaflet produced by the city council may be of interest.


          St Josephs
          St Joseph’s

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          Two Views of Hurstlea

          In September 2009, the Mary Ward building was opened. This stands on the footprint of Landau and Fontainebleau mobile buildings and houses the English Department.


          MaryWard-BuildingThe Mary Ward Building

          The buildings themselves thus reflect the steady development of the school over the course of more than ninety years, from its original seven pupils in 1922 to the current average of just under 900. With an adjoining hockey pitch, and courts for tennis and netball, the school provides an attractive environment for both study and recreation.

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