The schoool was founded in Pietermaritzburg in 1896 by an Anglican priest, and in 1901 it moved to the location near Balgowan outside Pietermaritzburg, where it still is today. In 2018 it is the most expensive school in South Africa. Local rivals Hilton College is the second most expensive school in the country. Images of the campus shows why parents would be willing to pay so much for their children's schooling.
Olympian Nick Folker is a Michaelhouse graduate. He swam at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and spent four years on a scholarship at the University of Hawaii. The school swimming pool is names after him.
The school has two pools - the Nick Folker Pool 25m x 25m heated swimming pool, and a 30m x 25m water polo pool. In 2018 the school fields 6 swimming teams
The 2016 Michaelhouse Chronicle school magazine recorded the following results for swimming and water polo: