St. Peter’s College – one of the foremost Diocesan centers of secondary education in the country has its roots embedded in the rich history and traditions of Wexford.Founded in 1811 by Bishop Patrick Ryan, the College has progressed from a humble Catholic Seminary in Michael Street, Wexford, to the present magnificent buildings. In 1818 the large house on Summerhill was purchased and Bishop Ryan blessed the foundation stone of an extension to be built at the rear of the house. In the autumn of 1819 Dr. James Keating opened the new College and the President, staff and student body of the Michael Street Seminary took up residence at Summerhill and “St. Peter’s College” came into being.
A substantial building programme between 1829 and 1832 saw the erection of an impressive facade with its high tower – a distinctive feature of the college. Fr. John Sinnott was responsible for the building of the College Chapel which was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin and completed and blessed in1840.During 1878/9, a large Study Hall with bedrooms overhead was built, St. Aidan’s, and the new hall was used for the first time when the new Intermediate Examinations began on June 14th 1879. From then on the student population increased. In 1891 there were 42 resident students and 84 day pupils, with the figures steadily rising by the turn of the century. In the 1930s a growing increase in Ecclesiastical Students made extra accommodation necessary and the New Wing (now Wexford Campus Carlow IT) was completed in 1938, incorporating a Concert Hall. During the Academic Year 1969/1970 St. Ibar’s Wing was officially opened. The 1970’s saw further development and through the efforts of the Past Pupils’ Union the Sport’s Complex was completed in 1982 and officially opened on 3rd October of that year. “Power Park” the All-Weather Pitch commemorates Ned Power, the man who did so much to promote drama and games, not only in the College, but also in County Wexford.
Following the demise of the Boarding School in 1997 and the Seminary in 1998 quite a number of rooms became vacant and Bishop Brendan Commiskey as Trustee allocated a portion of these to the Secondary School. Substantial refurbishment of these buildings and the construction of the new extension were made possible through funding by the Department of Education & Science. Refurbishment of the Sports Complex was made possible through funding by the Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation. The New Extension the refurbished Ibar’s block and the refurbished Sport’s Complex were officially opened on Monday 26th November 2001. A further new extension, completed in 2009 has further enhanced the teaching environment for both students and teachers. It has some general classrooms, Science and Demonstration Rooms, Construction Rooms, Technical Graphics, Design and Communication Graphics Rooms, Music and Drama Rooms, Business and Computer Rooms, Guidance Room and a new Office and Administration Area.
St. Peter’s College has played an essential part in the history of the Diocese of Ferns and can look
forward to continued success.