Ashdown House, East Sussex
Ashdown House is a mixed independent preparatory school in Forest Row
Forest Row
Forest Row is a village and relatively large civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. The village is located three miles south-east of East Grinstead.-History:...

, East Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

. There are currently 169 pupils from the ages seven to thirteen, currently comprising around 110 boys and 59 girls.


Billy Williamson was the headmaster from 1949 to 1974, succeeded by Clive Williams. In 2009 the headmaster Robert Taylor left to be Registar at Harrow School
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

 and Dominic Floyd became headmaster in September 2009.


Ashdown House was originally an 18th century country house, completed in 1794 by Benjamin Latrobe
Benjamin Latrobe
Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe was a British-born American neoclassical architect best known for his design of the United States Capitol, along with his work on the Baltimore Basilica, the first Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States...

 who was one of the architects of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC and also designed the nearby Hammerwood Park
Hammerwood Park
Hammerwood Park is a grade I listed country house near East Grinstead, Sussex, England at and Grade 1 listed of historical interest.- History :It was the first work of the architect Benjamin Latrobe...

 and the front portico of the White House in Washington DC. The School first became co-educational in 1975.

Academic information

Ashdown House is one of the leading prep schools in Britain, with scholarships being won regularly and in the past three years every student in their year has passed Common Entrance
Common Entrance
Common Entrance Examinations are taken by some children in the UK as part of the admissions process for academically selective secondary schools at age 13 or 11. Most of the secondary schools that use Common Entrance for admission are public schools; most of the schools that routinely prepare...

 at 13+, ensuring everyone a place at their first choice school.

Although academically successful, the School helps pupils to flourish in sport, music and art. In the 2009 academic year, two Music Scholarships were awarded to two boys destined for Charterhouse
Charterhouse School
Charterhouse School, originally The Hospital of King James and Thomas Sutton in Charterhouse, or more simply Charterhouse or House, is an English collegiate independent boarding school situated at Godalming in Surrey.Founded by Thomas Sutton in London in 1611 on the site of the old Carthusian...

 and Rugby
Rugby School
Rugby School is a co-educational day and boarding school located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, England. It is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.-History:...

. The U12 netball
Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960 international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball ...

 team recently won the IAPS National Championships, placing them first in the country for their age group.

Notable alumni

Notable Old Ashdownians (OAs) include:
  • Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson
    Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

    , journalist and politician
  • Charlie Cox
    Charlie Cox
    Charlie Cox is an English actor.-Life and career:Cox, the youngest of five children, was born in London, England and raised in East Sussex, the son of Trisha and Andrew, who is a publisher...

    , actor
  • Damian Lewis
    Damian Lewis
    Lewis was born in St John's Wood, London, the son of Charlotte Mary and J. Watcyn Lewis, a City broker. His paternal grandparents were Welsh. His maternal grandfather was Lord Mayor of London Ian Frank Bowater and his maternal grandmother's ancestors include Bertrand Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of...

    , actor
  • Edward Pinnegar
    Edward Pinnegar
    Edward Pinnegar MRAeS is an author and aviation historian. His first book, A History of Aviation in Alderney, was published on 5th August 2010, whilst he was 14 years old....

    , young author
  • Harry Cowell
    Harry Cowell
    Sir' Harry Cowell is a British musician and record producer - he is no relation to Simon Cowell. He is married and lives in West London....

    , record producer
  • Rachel Johnson
    Rachel Johnson
    Rachel Johnson is an English editor, journalist and author based in London.Johnson is the daughter of former Conservative MEP Stanley Johnson and artist Charlotte Johnson Wahl , the daughter of Sir James Fawcett, a prominent barrister and president of the European Commission of Human Rights...

    , writer and journalist
  • Thomas P G Cholmondeley, great-grandson of famous Kenyan settler Lord Delamere (the third Baron)
    Hugh Cholmondeley, 3rd Baron Delamere
    Hugh Cholmondeley, 3rd Baron Delamere KCMG , styled The Honourable from birth until 1887, was a British peer. He was one of the first and most influential British settlers in Kenya....

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