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Year 7 Retreat- Alton Castle

What is it?

Through a unique blend of outdoor adventurous activities and inspiring retreat experiences, Alton Castle promotes personal, social and spiritual development our Year 7 students. The enthusiastic team of youth workers enable young people to encounter Christ through creation, challenging activities and community.


A bit about the history

Alton Castle itself is a grade II listed neo-gothic building designed by A.W. Pugin and built in 1847. This existing castle lies within the ruins of the medieval castle c.1176, which is a grade I listed scheduled ancient monument.

The site has a long history of working with children as the Rev. Henry Winter who was in charge of the schools and hospital from 1840 appealed to the Sisters of Mercy at the convent in Cheadle to take charge of the Alton School and to look after the sick. They arrived in 1855. The school continued within the Catholic Church and in 1896, the Preparatory School for boys opened. The school finally closed in 1989 and the Castle and grounds fell into a state of disrepair.

In 1995, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham purchased Alton Castle with a view to developing a residential centre for young people. The Castle and grounds underwent extensive renovations and opened on September 9th 1996. It was fully booked in its first year. Since this first successful year, ongoing investment and development has ensured the continued success of the centre, which now provides retreat experiences for over 8,000 children every year.

These retreat experiences are significant to the young people and support staff who are able to develop personally, socially and spiritually under the guidance of a team of young people who give a year of their lives to work as Mission Team Volunteers.


BGN at Alton Castle

Our Year 7 go every year in the Autumn or Spring terms for a two-day residential visit in which they experience a programme where they encounter Christ, deepen their understanding of their place in the world and have fun!