Victoria College, Belfast is a voluntary non-denominational Independent grammar school in Cranmore Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 2007, the college had 867 pupils aged 11 – 18 and a Preparatory Department with 175 girls, aged 3 – 11.
Victoria College has been awarded specialist school status beginning from September 2009. The college will specialise in STEM-related areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
== History ==
Founded by Mrs Margaret Byers (1832–1912) in 1859, it is one of the longest established girls' schools in the British Isles. The college was established in Wellington Place and was first known as The Ladies' Collegiate School Belfast. It soon acquired, and continues to maintain, a high reputation for academic excellence and sporting prowess.
In 1887, Queen Victoria's Jubilee Year, the name of the school was changed by Royal Command to Victoria College and School. A century later, Victoria College amalgamated with Richmond Lodge School, a neighbouring girls' school of similar status.
The origins of Richmond Lodge lie in a school opened in 1879 by the Misses Hardy on the Stranmillis Road. It moved to the Malone Road in 1913 and soon acquired full academic recognition. Richmond Lodge past pupils continue their association with the school through the Arellian Association.
From 1947 to 1970, the art department at Victoria College was headed by Mercy Hunter, a notable calligrapher and influential teacher.
Over the past 150 years, Victoria College (as it is now called) has relocated several times. Former Belfast locations include Howard Street, Pakenham Place and Lower Crescent before the current school was established at Cranmore in the 1970s. School house names reflect the past locations.
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