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King William`s College
, IM9 1TP, UK Castletown
+44 (0)1624 820428

Welcome to KWC


King William's College - which was founded in 1833 - is situated at Castletown on the Isle of Man. The College offers education from 3 years to 18 years of age and delivers GCSEs and the International Baccalaureate.

The College is located on 2 sites. The senior school is located just outside Castletown, next to the airport and thus has excellent travel links worldwide. The grounds are first class and provide excellent sporting facilities for wide range of disciplines. Boarding is available at College for boys and girls.

Our junior school, The Buchan, is located in Castletown itself and is set in delightful surroundings.

The College is a school in the Church of England tradition. Class sizes are small throughout and often in single figures for specialist subjects. The staff are dedicated to ensuring all pupils are developed to the full and maximise their potential.

We are proud of our heritage - but not mesmerised by it - and we are determined that our school will embrace the best of our past while constantly striving to improve our

One of the first public schools to be founded in the 19th Century - built from the proceeds of the Bishop Barrow Trust it opened in August 1833 and still continues, very successfully, today. However this page concentrates on the 19th Century aspects.

Canon Hinton Bird discusses what in his opinion was the somewhat dubious circumstances in which money allocated for a theological seminary to train Manx priests became used to fund a public school, most of whose pupils have been non-Manx with no connection with the Island. Famous non-manx pupils include Dean Farrar and Sir W.H. Bragg among many others. Many Manx boys who later went onto hold senior posts on the Island also attended the college, the most famous being T.E.Brown who for a brief period was Vice-Principal.

The building was designed by E. Welch and J. Hansom though J. Welch claimed to have redesigned the tower after his brother left the Island; later rebuilt to a somewhat different design in 1844 after a disastrous fire. J.G.Cumming who was vice-principal from 1841-1856 gave an early history in his book on the Island.

Publicity of a slightly less desirable kind, was provided by F.W. Farrar in his tale of school life Eric; or little by little written in 1858 set in a thinly disguised Roslyn College on the Isle of Roslyn, which painted a rather black picture of poor teaching and bullying. This account is well backed up by that of James M. Wilson published in his autobiography.

Many building extensions have taken place over the last 160 years. The roof of the college was raised in 1892 to add another 5 dormitories at the expense of damage to the facade. - see photo for a 1920's view.


  • introduction
  • academic excellence
  • creativity
  • community
  • development
  • environment
  • experience
  • opportunities
  • teamwork
  • College

    King William's College was founded in the 19th Century and continues today as a successful and contemporary educational establishment. Building on our history and experience, we offer the highest standard of education for all ages and for both boarding and day students.

    Please enjoy a look around our school, and learn something of the values and environment which we offer to our students. We have a fully illustrated prospectus to showcase the features and facilities of our school.

    Visit our environment...

    The Isle of Man is a most attractive environment, with many scenic and historic attractions. It has a relaxed pace of life and provides an excellent quality of life for residents and visitors alike. We have a tour of the Island which will give you an opportunity to learn something about the unique qualities of Mann.

    You can view a PDF version of this prospectus here...

    (left click to open in a new window, right click and select save to download)







    Information and Communication Technology

    Modern Languages



    Physical Education

    Religious Studies


    4TH FORM

    5TH FORM

    6TH FORM


    "All work and no play made Jack a dull boy…"

    While the life of College is centred on academics, building the broader man and woman involves much more. Emphasis is on self development and team spirit.


    The school is divided into 3 sections: Fourth form (National Curriculum years 7 & 8), Fifth Form (Years 9,10 & 11) and Sixth form (Years 12 & 13). Each section is led by a Head of Form , assisted by a team of tutors who monitor the academic progress and personal development and deal with all the day-to-day matters relating to the pupils in their charge. In addition, all pupils are placed in one of three co-educational Houses for internal competitive purposes, but which do provide an important element of continuity throughout a pupil's career at the school.


    There is one House for boys and one House for girls. The living and sleeping accommodation is arranged principally in study-bedrooms for senior pupils with junior pupils sharing dormitories in small groups. Each House has its own Houseparent who is responsible for the pastoral welfare of the pupils. He or she is assisted by two or three tutors, of whom at least two are resident. Provision can bemade for boarders from overseas to remain at College during short half-term breaks.

    Read more about boarding...

    Sport and Activities

    In order to nurture and encourage the development of every pupil, King William's College and the Buchan School provide a wide range of sporting and extra curricular activities. These take place either in the extensive school grounds, in the incredibly varied manx countryside or on overseas expeditions.

    Sport plays a key element in school life at every level. By encouraging a pupil's interest and participation in these activities and the constructive use of leisure time the school seeks to achieve its mission: well rounded individuals who can take their place in the world equipped with the confidence and skills to serve them for the rest of their lives.

    Please view the full list of sporting and extra curricular activities available.

    primary schools in Castletown, secondary schools in Castletown, schools in Castletown

    Editorial office:
    tel. + 48 (094)