Tartan treat for visitors

The Stuart Parlour at Stonyhurst College
The Stuart Parlour at Stonyhurst College

Stonyhurst College, one of the undoubted jewels of the Ribble Valley, will open its doors to the public for the 20th year this summer.

As well as the magnificent Grade 1 listed building, its historic collections and the Jesuit Gardens, visitors will be able to see a room which has never been included in the tour before.

In a special year for Royal celebrations, the college’s “Stuart Parlour” will be open for the first time, with its unique collection of portraits of Stuart kings, queens and princes which once belonged to the Jacobite royal family in exile.

The first official portrait of James, son of King James II and Queen Mary Beatrice, can be seen here, painted for the Queen and hung in her bedchamber until her death. Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s official portrait can also be seen, showing him as the Prince of Wales – the title he tried to claim when he invaded Scotland in 1745.

The Stuart Parlour also contains a piece of tartan worn by Bonnie Prince Charlie during his escape after the Battle of Culloden. A length of the same tartan was presented to the Queen when she visited Stonyhurst in 1990, which she then gave to Prince Edward.

He had a pair of trousers made from the tartan and can be seen wearing them in a photograph included in the display. Today, the tartan is used for the girls’ uniform kilts at Stonyhurst.

The college will be open to the public from July 25th to August 29th daily except Friday (including Bank Holiday Monday) from 1 to 4-30 p.m. The cost for entry is £6.50. To make a group booking contact 01254 827084.