Wallace High School, Lisburn

Coordinates: 54°31′05″N 6°03′04″W / 54.518°N 6.051°W / 54.518; -6.051

The Wallace High School
Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Type Grammar school, top five grammar schools in the UK and Ireland.
Motto Esperance
Established 1880
Website www.wallacehigh.org

The Wallace High School is a co-educational grammar school in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

It was founded in 1880 by a bequest from the estate of Sir Richard Wallace, local landowner and Unionist MP, as the Lisburn Intermediate and University School on a site fronting the Antrim Road. A board of trustees took charge in 1900 to oversee the development of the growing school and, when they renamed it in 1942 in memory of its founder, they adopted the word Esperance as the school's motto from the Wallace coat of arms.

The post-war years witnessed rapid growth in pupil numbers and consequent accommodation provision. Land was purchased at Clonevin Park, initially for playing fields, and when the Antrim Road site proved inadequate, the decision was taken to build a new school in these extensive grounds.

Pupils and staff moved to the new building in 1976, and there are 1160 pupils in the grammar school and 200 in the preparatory department.


Wallace High School is noted for men's hockey with wins in the Burney Cup, McCullough Cup and a single win in the All Ireland Championship in 1987-88. In 2011 the hockey girls created history by reaching the final of the Ulster Senior Schoolgirls' Cup for the first time, only to lose on penalties.[1]

Notable former pupils




Banner Incident

The school rose to prominence across Northern Ireland due to the wide publicity received around the Banner Incident. This involved 5 Upper Sixth pupils due to leave the school in a matter of days as part of the Class Of 2012 scaling the 3 story roof of the school during the night and preparing a banner estimated to be up to 60 feet long. This banner was rolled off the roof down the wall of the school the next day. It read 'Class of 2012 f*** yea' the school condemned the wording of this banner as tasteless however the engineering work involved in its set up was widely complimented across Northern Ireland with page 3 of a prominent local newspaper the News Letter being dedicated to it and poor disciplinary handling of the pupils involved. A video of the scandal currently has 12,000 views on YouTube and is in line with the common end of year pranks and scandals that engulf the school in the June period.


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