St. Servatius' College was founded when the Bishop of Galle, Joseph Van Reeth (in French), wanted to create an educational infrastructure in the newly-established diocese and called on the Belgian Jesuits for help. Father Augustus Standaert, among others, arrived in Galle in 1896, and on 2 November 1897, the priests opened an English medium school on a small plot of land on the banks of the River Nilwala in Pallimulla, Matara. The school opened with five students in 1896, and within two years it had grown to accommodate 54 students.
In August 1898, a new structure was erected for the school. As the construction funds came from the St. Servatius Jesuit school of Liège, Belgium, the Matara school adopted the name of this patron saint: St. Servatius, a 4th-century Belgian missionary, and one of the first bishops in the area around Tongeren, Maastricht, and Liège.
After some years the school was moved to its present location in Kotuwegoda, Matara. In 1961, as part of a government program to take over private schools, the school was adopted by the Ministry of Education, although it remained administered by Roman Catholic fathers until 1965.
Currently, over 2,500 students are enrolled at St. Servatius' College. The school employs over one hundred staff, led by Principal M. Rathnasekara. It was made a Sri Lankan national school in 1993.