Bolton School Junior Girls

Friends of Patterdale Hall Group Launches

A new Friends of Patterdale Hall group has been established to support the next stage of development at the School's adventure learning and residential centre near Glenridding in the Lake District.  

The president of the group is eminent international adventurer and mountaineer John Amatt, a former student of the School.

John, who is a Canadian Mountain Guide, is renowned not only for completing the first ascent of the 5,000ft Troll Wall in Norway (the highest sheer rock face in Europe) in 1965, but also for his central role in the first Canadian expedition to Mount Everest in 1982. He also established the first annual Banff Mountain Film Festival in 1976, a festival from which many others have evolved over the years.

John writes about his new post, “I am delighted and honoured to be asked to be the inaugural president of the Friends of Patterdale Hall group. I have stayed at Patterdale Hall and know what a wonderful place it is, not only for the students of Bolton School but for many other young people who use it each year, some from deprived and disadvantaged backgrounds. The outdoor learning opportunities on offer at Patterdale Hall are very similar to those which I experienced. It was from these confidence-building and developmental opportunities that my passion for developing others using the outdoors was established. I have made adventure my business.”

Read more about John’s ‘Adventure Attitude’ philosophy on his website:

Tim Taylor, Manager at Patterdale Hall and Chair of the new group, says, “The Hall is already supported by a team of willing volunteers who have recently started to restore the gardens to their former glory. The group will comprise a few members and an infinite number of ‘Friends’. Some objectives have already been established and they include raising funds for the renovation of the student accommodation, improving facilities for changing and showering after some of the many activities that we offer, and establishing ourselves as a centre of excellence for the future.”

A significant aspiration is the reinstallation of the historic orangery that once overlooked the Victorian Italian gardens. The group will target suitable donors and hope to raise money through sponsored and charitable events. Once the gardens have been restored further, the Friends hope that this will include opening them to the public to enjoy on certain days of the year.

The very first donation has already been made to the group from local business manager and former Patterdale Hall Landlord, Jonathan Holdsworth. Jonathan says, “We are pleased that Bolton School are proposing to take such good care of Patterdale Hall, which is part of all of our local heritage. We are delighted to be able to offer the first financial contribution to set the new Friends group on its way and wish them the very best of luck.”

If you would like to become a Friend of Patterdale Hall or support the group in any way, please do email the Secretary, Debra Hardman ( or call 01204 434751.

Work has already begun on restoring the gardens to their former glory

Work has already begun on restoring the gardens to their former glory

John Amatt, Old Boy and Adventurer

International Adventurer and Old Boy John Amatt has been announced as President of the Friends' group

Jonathan Holdsworth

The first donation to the group has already been received by former Patterdale Hall landlord, Jonathan Holdsworth