History

St Mary's Oscott outer grounds

The origins of Oscott College lie in the mission of Andrew Bromwich, who bequeathed his house for the use of a priest to serve the Catholics of this area. Bromwich, the last English priest to be tried for treason and condemned to death (in 1679), was eventually released from prison and established the mission on his family property about two miles from here. He died there in 1702.

Throughout the eighteenth century a succession of priests maintained the mission, serving the local population of farm workers and tradespeople. A scheme to educate sons of the Catholic gentry and professional classes alongside a seminary to train priests was developed at Oscott in the late eighteenth century. The college opened in 1794 on its original site at what is now Maryvale Institute, with a small group of schoolboys and three seminary students. The missionary tradition of Andrew Bromwich and his successors flowed directly into the spirit and tradition of Oscott College, where Francis Martyn was ordained in 1805, the first priest wholly trained in England since the Reformation.

Crippled with debt by 1808, the lay trustees of the college readily relinquished control of it to Bishop John Milner. From then until the present day, it has trained priests for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, and many other English and Welsh dioceses, religious orders and overseas dioceses.

St Mary's Oscott old sketch

 

The college museum is a private collection, to which access is permitted to groups visiting the College by prior arrangement. It is not possible to offer individual tours, and the museum is not open to the general public. Individual research visits by scholars wishing access to specific items may be arranged with the museum curator, Naomi Johnson;

naomi.johnson@oscott.org

Tel: 0121 321 5021