St Mary's 150th Anniversary

In January 2015, St Mary’s Catholic High School, on Newbold Road in Chesterfield, celebrates the 150th Anniversary of its founding in 1865. The November 2014 issue of Reflections Magazine carried a full feature on the school, the anniversary celebrations, and on the magnificent book that has been published to mark this major landmark in the history of the school. You can read the article here … Reflections Nov 2014 Edition – Feature on St Mary’s 150th

The new book ‘St Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield – Celebrating 150 Years‘ is written by Leonie Martin, a local author and writer with an interest in local history and community. Leonie was formerly the Bursar of St Mary’s School and was therefore well-placed to write the school’s history.

Sean McClafferty, the school’s Headteacher wrote about the book:

‘St Mary’s Catholic High School has a long and proud association with the town of Chesterfield and the Catholic and civic community in North East Derbyshire. Founded in 1865 in one room, 30 pupils were taught the ‘3Rs’ by one dedicated teacher. After 150 years and several moves, the school now has some 1,300 pupils and an enviable record of success.

This new, illustrated history of St Mary’s is published to celebrate the school’s 150th anniversary. It tells the fascinating story of the early struggles to establish the school, the developments and setbacks through two world wars, and its eventual move to the splendid facilities now enjoyed by pupils and staff at Upper Newbold.

Although buildings are important, people matter more and every successful school carries an imprint of the powerful personalities who, in different eras, faced new challenges and opportunities as they sought the best for the children they taught. St Mary’s High School is no exception, and readers will find vivid portraits of dedicated individuals who, inspired by the benefits and values of Catholic education, brought an unswerving determination to create and to improve the school.

Beautifully designed and produced, this book offers a lively and informative account and over 300 specially selected pictures and illustrations, bringing to life the history of the school, and creating a lasting souvenir of this milestone anniversary.’


Priced at just £15.99, the book is available to buy locally from the school, at events taking place throughout the year, or on-line from and from our Book Shop page on this website.

You can pre-order your copy of the book in time for Christmas by calling 01246 386480 or by visiting the school’s website,

This special website also contains details of all the anniversary events, more information about the book and a special interview with Leonie Martin.

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