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St Joseph's College

Located on Craigs Road in Dumfries, St. Joseph's College is the principal centre of Roman Catholic education in Dumfries and Galloway. It was founded as a boarding school for boys by the Marist Brothers, a Roman Catholic Teaching Order, and opened with twelve pupils in 1875. It moved to its present site in 1909. Today it operates as a co-educational comprehensive secondary school run by Dumfries and Galloway Council, with a roll of 730 pupils (2015) encompassing all religious denominations. Its motto is Nisi Dominus Frustra, meaning 'without the Lord all is in vain' and the pupils are divided into four academic houses taking their names from notable families; namely Bruce, Douglas, Stewart and Wallace.

The main building is a long red sandstone four-storey block in Neo-Renaissance style, with a central clock-tower topped with a spire. The fine Romanesque College Chapel was dedicated in 1925 to the memory of former pupils who were killed in the First World War. Fine stained glass incorporates figures of the saints and heraldic motifs. Extensive playing fields at Maryfield were purchased in the 1920s, and a gymnasium opened in 1934. In 1960 an Assembly Hall extension was opened to take account of the increasing pupil numbers.

Following negotiation with the Marist Brothers during the later 1970s, the local education authority took control in 1982 and spent 4 million extending the College and improving facilities. Boarding was phased out and girls entered the school for the first time.

Notable former pupils include hotelier Charles Forte (1908 - 2007) and motor racing entrepreneur Sir Frank Williams (b.1942).


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