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Stonyhurst College, Old Infirmary and attached passage

A Grade II Listed Building in Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.8469 / 53°50'48"N

Longitude: -2.4732 / 2°28'23"W

OS Eastings: 368966

OS Northings: 439064

OS Grid: SD689390

Mapcode National: GBR CR5Y.CR

Mapcode Global: WH96G.ZKGR

Plus Code: 9C5VRGWG+QP

Entry Name: Stonyhurst College, Old Infirmary and attached passage

Listing Date: 14 January 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1419719

Location: Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley, Ribble Valley, Lancashire, BB7

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Hurst Green St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

Find accommodation in
Hurst Green


School buildings,1841 and later.


Roman Catholic boarding school comprising Jesuit community accommodation areas, collection display rooms and archive stores, and offices.

FORMER INFIRMARY,1842-3, attributed to J.J.Scoles.

MATERIALS: sandstone ashlar or coursed dressed stone, with deep moulded plinths, string courses, hoodmoulds, cornices and copings; pitched roofs of Welsh slate. Jacobean Revival style.
PLAN: Infirmary located at north-west corner of the WEST FRONT, connected by covered dog-leg passage.

EXTERIOR: 1842-3. Built on site of demolished outbuilding, it balances St Peter’s Church in composition of West Front. Ashlar, gabled Welsh slate roof with ashlar ridge stacks, cast iron rainwater goods. 2 storeys over basement with attics, 5-bay symmetrical south front. C17 domestic revival style. Central doorway flanked by cross windows with sashes, moulded plinth, string course to first floor mullioned windows, all windows have hoodmoulds. Plain parapet to roof with coped verges and pinnacle finials. Gabled west front has with two large semi-elliptical arched openings to basement, mullioned windows to upper floors. Rear is plainer. A single-storey dog-leg covered passage, c1843, connects the former Infirmary to north-west corner of West Front. 5-bay south elevation, 3-light mullioned windows, buttresses, moulded parapet to Welsh slate hipped roof. On the north side is a single-storey lavatory block, known as Jumps (named after renovation funded by Ralph Lyon Jump OS, mid C20), c1870, with Welsh slate hipped roof with lantern, behind a parapet.

C19 marble chimneypieces to some rooms in the former Infirmary. Marble floor to the lavatory block.


The buildings at Stonyhurst College grew out of a courtyard plan house commenced by Sir Richard Shireburn in 1592, on or close to the site of a medieval house. Work continued under his successors, including Sir Nicholas Shireburn who added classical features and a formal landscape setting after 1690. The Shireburns and their descendants were a notable recusant Lancashire Catholic family. Mary, the daughter of Sir Nicholas married the 8th Duke of Norfolk, inheriting the estate in 1732, but the house was largely unoccupied during the rest of the C18.

In 1794 the Society of Jesus fled from a temporary school in Liège, and came to Stonyhurst at the invitation of Thomas Weld, the Shireburns’ descendant. In 1809, Weld gifted the buildings and estate at Stonyhurst to the Jesuits. In 1803, the Society of Jesus was re-established in England at Stonyhurst under the Provincial Marmaduke Stone, although the Society was not formally recognised by the English Bishops until 1829. In this location, the school continued the lineage of Catholic boys’ education and the training of Jesuit priests for the English Mission established at Saint-Omer (St Omers), France by Father Robert Persons in 1593, following Elizabeth I's Protestant Religious Settlement of 1559. In affiliation to the University of London, from 1840 to 1916, Stonyhurst provided degree-level education for men (known as the Philosophers) at a time when Catholics were excluded from Oxford and Cambridge. As the centre for the Society of Jesus in England a seminary was maintained at St Mary’s Hall (NHLE 1362219) from 1828 to 1926. Stonyhurst has been co-educational since 1988, continuing to expand on the site and to adapt existing buildings. This long history of Catholic education is reflected in an important collection of Catholic and Jesuit artefacts, devotional relics and works of art, many in situ within the college buildings since the C19.

The Jesuits adapted the Shireburn domestic buildings and added new school ranges including Shirk, as well as striving towards self-sufficiency with its own gas plant for lighting and later a corn mill. As Catholic ambition and confidence grew after the Emancipation Act (1829), the Jesuits built (and still own) St Peter’s Church (1833-35), to serve local Catholics as well as the college. The college buildings expanded in the mid-C19 with the completion of the north side of the Front Quadrangle and the Sodality Chapel (1859). Further development in the mid-C19 included an infirmary, new kitchens, the Ambulacrum and extended chemistry laboratories. More ambitious rebuilding culminated in the new South Front and Boys Chapel designed by Dunn & Hansom, 1875-1888. Early C20 development included a gymnasium and physics laboratory and, in the 1960s, an accommodation block known as the New Wing.

This building was previously Listed under an entry on the NHLE which covered the entire complex of school buildings at Stonyhurst (NHLE 1072336).

Reasons for Listing

The former Infirmary and attached passage at Stonyhurst College, erected in 1842-3, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* * Architectural Interest: attributed to J.J.Scoles, a notable Catholic architect, the buildings are good examples of mid-C19 gothic revival work complementing the West Front composition developed by the Jesuits;
* Historical Interest: Stonyhurst was the destination for Jesuits fleeing continental persecution in 1794, and played a central role in the growth of the Roman Catholic Church in England throughout the C19 and C20, as the principal school and college for the Society of Jesus in England;
* Group Value: the Old Infirmary and passage forms part of a strong group with other elements of the complex at Stonyhurst.

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