St Dominics Newcastle, situated on 10 hectares of wooded parklands in the foothills of the Drakensberg, is an independent Christian co-educational school founded by the Dominican Sister Mother Rose Niland in 1891. It is situated in the town of Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.
St Dominics Newcastle has a rich heritage and its proud history and tradition form the rich ethos that is an integral part of the school. The current site, off St Dominic’s Street, has been the home of the school since 1908, when Mother Rose Niland bought the property from Dr O’Grady Gubbins, who left Newcastle to join General Louis Botha’s cabinet.
Much of the construction work took place between 1908 and 1918 under the auspices of Brother Nivard Streicher from Mariannhill. The Pavilion, which is located in the grounds of the school, was designed and built in 1912, and was declared a national monument by Dr Piet Koornhof in 1977. The construction of the graceful Bell Tower, with its clocks and bells imported from Germany, was started in 1912, but because of the First World War was only completed in 1919.
Originally a girls’ school, boys were admitted to the school for the first time in 1986 and currently as many boys as girls attend the school. In 1988 a board of governors was created to take over the running of the school from the Dominican Sisters. The school was purchased from the Dominican Sisters on 21 December 2006 and registered as St Dominics Newcastle, a Section 21 company.
The chapel, which is still used for assemblies, boasts magnificent stained glass windows that were imported from Dϋsseldorf, Germany in 1906.
The swimming pool (complete with individual changing cubicles) was built in 1915 and was the first school pool to have been built in Natal – it is still used regularly by the learners.
In 1978 the Pavilion, which stands in the large well-kept grounds, was declared a national monument and is used extensively by learners and staff for various school functions.