AMPLEFORTH COLLEGE, the Benedictine public school 20 miles north of York, is shortly to be enlarged by the erection of two new buildings which will enable it to accommodate 700 buys instead of 500.
The enlarged college will be the biggest Catholic public school in Britain. Stonyhurst has 350 boys, Downside 456, Mount St. Mary's 260, Ratcliffe College, Leicester, 250 and Beaumont 235.
Ampleforth also has 115 boys in the preparatory school at Gilling Castle, about a mile from the abbey.
The college has a long waiting list. Many parents now put their boys' names down for Ampleforth as soon as they are born.
Ampleforth began in 1802 as a result of the expulsion of the Benedictines from France through the French Revolution. A hundred years ago there were six monks and about 40 boys.
Fifty years ago there were 15 monks. To-day there are 51, and other Ampleforth monkv are working in parishes.