Ancestry UK

St John's School for Roman Catholic Boys, Apethorpe, near Peterborough, Northamptonshire

St John's Approved School for Roman Catholic Boys was established in 1948 at Apethorpe Hall, Laundry Road, Apethorpe, near Peterborough. The building, a palatial stately home, dated back to Elizabethan times. The School was run by the Northamptonshire Catholic Child Protection and Welfare Society and could accommodate 81 Senior boys, aged between their 15th and 17th birthdays at their date of admission. The headmaster in 1965 was Mr A.F. Lampard.

Apethorpe Hall, early 1900s.

Apethorpe Hall, early 1900s.

In 1973, the School became a Community Home with Education (CHE) under the control of Northamptonshire County Council.

The home closed in 1982. The property, a Grade 1 listed building, is now run by English Heritage and renamed Apethorpe Palace.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Has a number of reports and other papers relating to the School.


  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Hyland,Jim Yesterday's Answers: Yesterday's Answers: Development and Decline of Schools for Young Offenders (1993, Whiting and Birch)
  • Millham, S, Bullock, R, and Cherrett, P After Grace — Teeth: a comparative study of the residential experience of boys in Approved Schools (1975, Chaucer Publishing)