Situated in the main college building, at the heart of front quad, Patchell’s produces young men who are confident in their individuality and curious about the world around them.

There is always a sense of movement in Patchell’s: boys squeezing in time for a toastie while rushing from Rugby to choir; golf clubs banging down the spiral staircase past soil samples going upstairs for a project. There is room for uniqueness and individuality alongside a strong shared identity. Dr Stuart Thomson, Housemaster

Patchell’s lies at the heart of the College, looking out over the slopes and towards the river on one side, and into the Quad itself on the other, with the library, dining hall, and Chapel. Down the middle of the house runs the beautiful stone spiral staircase which generations of OGs have trodden for almost 200 years. It is one of the original four houses established when the house system was introduced in the early 20th century, and the only House in Coll that has remained with an unbroken location and identity.

Accommodation for the youngest members of the House is in the ‘cubes’ on the top floor: these are traditional cubicles that give the best combination of individual private space and the sense of living in community; there is also accommodation for Prefects interspersed among the cubes to help integrate the different year groups. As they move up the school, boys move into individual rooms to give them the space to focus more intensively on their academic studies.

Patchell’s is a family home, not just a boarding house, and Dr Thomson and his family live side-by-side with the boys, who regularly come into the private side. It’s a home-away-from-home for the boys, where they are safe, supported, and respected. Equally, it is a place where pupils feel secure enough to take risks and be challenged: to try new pursuits, push themselves intellectually, and go beyond simply doing enough to aim for something extraordinary.

Housemaster – Dr Stuart Thomson

Stuart comes from Sydney, Australia, and was educated at Trinity Grammar School, where he was Dux of School, and at the University of Sydney, reading Classics and English. He subsequently studied theology at the University of Divinity, Melbourne and began his teaching career as a lecturer in New Testament Studies at Bishop Patteson Theological College in the Solomon Islands, before moving to the UK to take up graduate studies at Corpus Christi, Oxford, as a Clarendon Scholar. His doctorate is on early Christian Greek literature, and he has published academic work on second and third century Greek literature as well as textbooks for A Level Classics. 

He played Rugby throughout his school career, rowed for his College VIII at Oxford, and was Master of the Christ Church and Farley Hill Beagles; as an undergraduate he was also an international standard debater. He met his wife, Charlotte (who teaches Chemistry at Glenalmond) singing in the chapel choir at Corpus, and they have two children, Constance and Edmund.


Matron: Mrs Laura MacVicar

Assistant Housemaster and Lower Sixth Tutor: Mr T Norton (History)

Third Form Tutor: Mr B Elrick (Head of Piping and EVC Coordinator) 

Fourth Form Tutor:  Mr D Smith (Physics)

Lower Sixth Tutor: Dr S Wilkinson (Head of Science)

Upper Sixth Form Tutors: Mr S Tolan (Head of History) 


Housemaster's email address:

Housemaster's Study number: 01738 842033

Matron's number: 01738 842133

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