Our History

St Mary’s Independent School, situated in the heart of Hampshire across 17 acres, is steeped in history and boasts an enviable alumni of students who have gone on to hold senior positions across the UK.

It was established in 1922 by the Brothers of Christian Instruction and has gone on today to attract pupils of diverse backgrounds and beliefs who have been attracted by its warm, loving and caring school environment where each member of staff knows every pupil.

St Mary’s Independent is connected worldwide to sister schools of which there are 124 in 26 countries. For more information about them see: www.lamennais.org


St Mary’s Independent School is proud of the achievements of all of its pupils and is pleased to share some of their successes below:

  • Philip Hoare – Award-winning author
  • Andrew Surman – Former Southampton FC now a Bournemouth FC player
  • Richard Deverell – Director of Kew Gardens
  • France Albert René – Former President of the Seychelles
  • Prof. Roger Williams, CBE – Specialist Doctor at King’s College Hospital in the treatment of pathological conditions of the liver and Director of the Institute of Hepatology.
  • Patrick Garland -Theatre and film director – probably the only old Simmarian to have won a Golden Globe!
  • Gerry Whent – Former Chief Executive of Vodaphone
  • Robert Chote – Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies
  • Nick Holmes – Southampton FA Cup winning team
  • Prof. Anthony Dickinson – Professor of Neuropharmacology, University College, London
  • John Burton-Race – Michelin starred celebrity chef who featured on Masterchef
  • Prof. Paul Rodhouse – British Antarctic Survey Team
  • Barry Clarke – President, Save The Children
  • Jonathan Lowe MBE – Lt. Col., Sandhurst
  • Bro. Francis OBE – Chairman of Trustees, St. Mary’s independent
  • Patrick Trant – Trant Constuction Co.
  • Lawrence Till – Artistic Director, Watford Palace Theatre
  • Prof. Nick Watkins – Professor in Centre for Analysis of Time Series at the London School of Economics.


We’d like to thank Tom Olding the College archivist, Fr Michael Peters and Alex Matthews for their efforts in providing these priceless archives of our history.

Please follow the link for the 1923-2007 College Magazine Archives,