St Augustine's Priory, Ealing

St Augustine's Priory School, is an independent Catholic girls' school in the London Borough of Ealing, England. It was founded and staffed by nuns from the priory, though the school has been run by a lay head since 1996. The school consists of Nursery (3-4) Prep (4–7 years), Junior (7-11) and Senior (11-18) departments and welcomes girls of all faiths. In 2014, it was in the top three best performing GCSE schools in Ealing.[1]

St Augustine's Priory School
St Augustine's Priory, Ealing.svg
Hillcrest Road

W5 2JL

TypeIndependent day school
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Established1634; 387 years ago (1634)
Local authorityEaling
Department for Education URN101946 Tables
HeadteacherMrs S. Raffray
Coeducational (Nursery)
Age3 to 18
HousesSt Michael
St George
St Raphael
St Gabriel
Colour(s)Blue & Turquoise
Former pupilsOld Augustinians
St. Augustine's Priory
Monastery information
Full namePriory of St. Augustine
Other namesMonastery of Notre-Dame-de-Sion, Paris
OrderCanonesses Regular of the Lateran
Established1631 (1631)
Dedicated toSt. Augustine of Hippo
Founder(s)Abbess Lettice Mary Tredway, C.R.L.


Lettice Mary Tredway, CRL, was a member of a French community of Canonesses Regular of the Lateran at the Priory of Notre-Dame-de-Beaulieu in the village of Sin-le-Noble, near Douai, in the County of Flanders, which provided nursing care to the region. She was authorized by the religious authorities, including Bishop Richard Smith, Vicar Apostolic for Great Britain, to found an English-speaking community of her Order. She founded the monastery, called Notre-Dame-de-Sion, in 1631 in Paris. Shifting from medical care, the school was opened by the community in 1634 for English pupils escaping the persecution of Catholics in their homeland. The priory remained in operation there until the canonesses were forced to flee France at the outbreak of the French Revolution, at which point they returned to England. Finding refuge in their native country, they re-established their religious community and the school under its current name.

The priory moved to Ealing in 1910, to Castlebar Road, and in 1915 moved to its present site in Hillcrest Road. During the campaign for women's suffrage, one of the school leaders (Headmistress and Latin tutor), Mother Mary Frances, supported this cause by chaining herself to railings and breaking windows.[2] The Second World War was a difficult time as London was bombed during the Battle of Britain but the school continued operating. Whenever the air raid sirens sounded, canonesses would take the girls down to the cellars and continue lessons.[3]

Although a priory by name, it now consists solely of the school, run by lay staff members, as the canonesses voted in a final meeting in 1996 of the chapter of the priory to dissolve, due to their reduced numbers and the advanced age of its members. They dispersed to join other communities of the Order. The school maintains its Catholic ethos through its pastoral care[4] and has close links with the local archdiocese and the nearby Benedictine Ealing Abbey which hosts the school's annual Carol Concert in December.


The school is set in 13 acres (5.3 ha) of grounds, adjacent to Hanger Lane, consisting of a wild flower meadow, orchard, Prep meadow, two netball courts, a rose garden, croquet lawn, a sweeping playing field and an all-weather floodlit AstroTurf.


The priory chapel is used daily for school assemblies, masses and music recitals. The new science block provides well equipped science labs, as well as drama studio and Junior music/drama room. Many visitors to the school are envious of the Sixth Form area which has its own balcony with views towards the North Downs, and also has its own kitchen.

Notable former pupilsEdit


  1. ^ DfE League Tables, January 2015
  2. ^ "Votes for Women! The Catholic Contribution - Diocese of Westminster". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ Our History Archived 2012-06-20 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Religious and Spiritual Life Archived 2012-06-20 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°31′26″N 0°17′34″W / 51.5238°N 0.2927°W / 51.5238; -0.2927