The school was founded in Dublin in 1845 as the WM Connexional School at St Stephen's Green. Among its notable pupils in the early days were Sir Robert Hart and George Bernard Shaw. In 1879 the College moved to a new site at St Stephen's Green, beside the Methodist Centenary Church. When girls were admitted in 1911 it became one of the few co-educational secondary schools at that time. In 1964 land was acquired at Ludford Park, an attractive 50-acre site at the foot of the Dublin Mountains. The school moved to this site in 1969 and Dundrum Methodist Church was built close by in 1978. The college enjoys a high reputation and with 840 pupils, including about 200 boarders, is one of the largest Protestant secondary schools in the Republic.
'The school now known as Wesley College was, no doubt,a bad one, but it was, and still is, among the best schools in the country.'
George Bernard Shaw, in Sixteen Self Sketches