A 420-YEAR-OLD college will feature on primetime television.

Stonyhurst College, near Hurst Green in the Ribble Valley, will appear on Britain’s Secret Homes on Friday to celebrate its link with Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The ITV1 show aims to highlight the country’s top 50 little-known places with exciting stories to tell.

Stonyhurst’s archivist David Knight helped explain the institution’s connection with the writer and how he was inspired to pen The Hound of the Baskervilles while staying at the Grade I listed building.

Mr Knight said: “The programme wanted to feature three properties in the north west and Stonyhurst was one them.

“The secret, that is not a secret at all here, is that there is more to Stonyhurst than meets the eye.

“It is not just a beautiful building, it has a story to tell too.”

The programme is hosted by Michael Buerk and Bettany Hughes and also features novelist and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz.

Mr Knight told presenters how Sir Arthur was sent to Stonyhurst in 1868 at the age of nine.

He spent five years there gaining inspiration for characters and settings for his novels. The archivist said this was most apparent in the Hound of the Baskervilles.

He said: “Although set in Dartmoor, the description of Baskerville Hall has several important features that are sufficiently similar to those at Stonyhurst to support the notion that Doyle had his old school in mind when setting the scene for his latest Holmes adventure.

“The Yew Alley, in which Sir Charles Baskerville met his death from a fatal heart attack whilst fleeing from a phantom hound, has its counterpoint in the Dark Walk in the Stonyhurst gardens.

“In Victorian Stonyhurst it is reported that boys would run after nightfall along the Dark Walk from ‘imagined terrors’, perhaps the ghostly survivors of Pendle witchcraft.”

Visitors can tour the college from July 29, when they will be able to see the writer’s desk, on which he carved his name.

Britain’s Secret Homes will be aired at 9pm on Friday.