Preston Catholic College
Preston Catholic College Now an arched window, this was formerly the entrance to Preston Catholic College.

The Western side of Winckley Square was to become almost entirely devoted to the education of Catholic boys and girls. In 1865, to rival the Grammar School in Cross Street, a Catholic Grammar School was opened in rented accommodation at number 25 Winckley Square.

Further along the western side of the Square, between numbers 34 and 35, was a narrow passage, which gave access to a short row of cottages called Mount Pleasant. One of these was purchased and, in 1866, the Catholic Grammar School transferred there. In due course, all the cottages in Mount Pleasant were purchased, together with some in Mount Street and Lythgoe Place.

In 1875 the school had grown considerably and it was again transferred; this time to number 29 Winckley Square, formerly the home of cotton manufacturer, Mr. George Paley. There it remained until 1897 when reorganisation brought sweeping changes.

In January 1898, work on new college buildings began and the school was temporarily homeless. Preston Corporation, therefore, allowed it to use Dr. Shepherd's Library at the corner of Cross Street, next to the rival Protestant Grammar School. The new building, which emerged, was named the Catholic College, alma mater to many Prestonians.

With the reorganisation of Catholic education in Preston in 1978 the Catholic College has now been absorbed into Newman College and has left the Square for new accommodation at Lark Hill.

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© Marian Roberts 1966
© Photograph - R Fitzpatrick 2000