Community figure keeping Penrhos College spirit alive
March 24, 2021

A leading community figure and former Rydal Penrhos parent has been keeping the Penrhos College spirit alive.

“At Rydal Penrhos, we are proud of our history and our heritage.”

Rydal School started as a boys’ school in 1885, was fully co-educational by 1984 and then in 1999 merged with Penrhos College on what is now the Rydal Penrhos site off Pwllycrochan Avenue.

Although the Penrhos College site is no more, one leading community figure and former parent has been giving up his time to selflessly keep the site at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts.

Mr John Barker, whose three grandchildren all attended the school as boarders, spends time cleaning the memorial sign of Penrhos College once a month and has been doing this for the last seven years.

The Rotary Club of Colwyn Bay member remains a good friend of the school, attending Prep School presentations and also helping arrange the Rotary International evening which pupils attend to talk about their experiences at the school.

The Penrhos College sign is situated at the old site, which is now occupied by housing, details the proud history of the school that was founded in 1880 before merging with Rydal in the 1990s.

rydal penrhos

Penrhos College began in 1880 with 12 girls in a couple of three-storied houses ‘with basements’ on Colwyn Bay promenade.

In 1895, the school moved into the premises of the short-lived but grand ‘Hydropathic Establishment’ purchased from the Pwllycrochan Estate.

The site was a prime location near the beach with fine views. During the next 80 years, a complex of buildings developed around the original Hydropathic building; there was also sufficient space, 25 acres, for a sanatorium, gardens, games fields and tennis courts.

Emily Harrison, Annabelle Harrison and James Harrison were the grandchildren of Mr Barker that attended Rydal Penrhos, becoming a valued part of the school community.

On behalf of everyone, we would like to thank Mr Barker for cleaning the Penrhos College sign for all these years. We deeply appreciate your efforts.


Anyone wishing to enquire about Rydal Penrhos School can do so by calling 01492 530155, email admissions@rydalpenrhos.com or register your interest online here: https://rydalpenrhos.com/admissions/apply-now.