A Boathouse fit for the 21st Century

Rowing is woven into the very fabric of St Paul’s. In 1830, a Pauline Four competed against Merchant Taylors’ School in the earliest recorded athletic event in SPS history.

Some pupils will row for a few years of their time at St Paul’s, but many will continue in the sport and maintain the friendships it has brought them long after they leave school. Old Pauline rowers have represented Great Britain in the Olympics and World Championships winning Gold Medals at both.

It has been 50 years since our current boathouse was opened. The boat house sits at the northeast corner of the school site near the halfway mark of the Championship Course: the stretch of the river used for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.

The current boathouse is one of the oldest CLASP buildings on site and without this refurbishment would require replacement by the end of the 2020s. Pupils currently have to queue to enter the changing rooms and it is challenging to manoeuvre the boats onto the water in time to meet demand. There is no heating or ventilation in the gym, which is often cold in winter and too hot in summer. We are keen to introduce changes that will better support the needs of the programme. Our hope is that the first stage of the upgrade work will commence in 2024, assuming the initial funding is in place.

A new home for rowing

  • Our improved home for rowing will make the best use of our proximity to the river by opening up views within and around the buildings, and will include:
  • an improved gym area
  • an upgrade of the students’ changing rooms and showers and the addition of staff facilities
  • a purpose-built extension to include a staff/coach room, student debrief room and a kitchenette and laundry
  • a new roof with skylights for daylight and natural ventilation
  • new, large sliding gates, improving access for the manoeuvring of boats
    cladding of the external walls

The project cost is £2.7m. 

If you would like to find out more about supporting the Boathouse Campaign, please click here. 

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Rowing in numbers at St Paul's School

7

wins in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta

150

years of the St Paul’s School Boat Club

113

pupils took part in this year’s National School’s Regatta

1830

A Pauline Four competed in the first recorded athletic event at the school

Every Pauline able to swim ought to take advantage of the proximity of the river and join the Rowing club, whilst those unable to swim should learn and join them!
The Pauline, 1884