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.