Bedales 125

Bedales School is holding a number of celebratory events and activities to mark its foundation 125 years ago in January 1893 by John Haden Badley (see news article).

Message from Headmaster Keith Budge:

“I am looking forward to celebrating the educational vision of John Badley and the distinctive Bedales heritage as part of our 125th anniversary. Since its foundation in 1893, Bedales has innovated, championing a broad arts-rich education with students at its centre. I think that if John Badley visited today, he would recognise his powerful student-centred legacy - an environment that encourages creativity, independent thinking, learning through doing, and tolerance of difference.”  

Bedales 125 walk

A centre-piece of the 125th celebrations is an ambitious 125 km five-day expedition for a group of students and teachers. The walkers, including Headmaster Keith Budge, will hike from the site of the old school, Lindfield, to the present site in Steep from Monday 25 - Friday 29 June. This journey, very much in the tradition of John Badley’s early camping expeditions, will incorporate the Sussex Border Path, Monarch's Way and South Downs Way. Old Bedalians and parents are invited to join up with the group for parts of the walk along the route and will be able to track the group’s progress via a web link to a GPS tracker. 

Here's a link to the planned route, starting near Lindfield and ending in Steep - the group's position will also be flagged (via GPS tracker) during the walk from 25-29 June. The detailed itinerary is below (please scroll down page).

125 WALK                  
Date Time Depart Time Arrive Way point Grid ref Transport Distance - cumulative (k) Distance - leg (k)
GROUP 1                  
Mon 25 Jun 08:00 Bedales 09:30 Old Bedales 1 TQ 358 238 Minibus    
Mon 25 Jun 10:30 Old Bedales  18:00 Youth Hostel Truleigh Hill 12 TQ 220 105 Walk 24.45 24.45
Tue 26 Jun 09:00 Youth Hostel Truleigh Hill 17:00 Blakehurst Farm 26 TQ 046 066 Walk 50.49 26.04
Wed 27 Jun 08:30 Blakehurst Farm 12:00 A29, Whiteways 33 TQ 002 110 Walk 62.48 11.99
Wed 27 Jun 12:30 A29, Whiteways 13:30 Bedales     Minibus    
GROUP 2                  
Wed 27 Jun 11:00 Bedales 12:00 A29, Whiteways     Minibus    
Wed 27 Jun 12:00 A29, Whiteways 18:30 Treyford 45 SU 821 179 Walk 84.6 22.12
Thu 28 Jun 09:00 Treyford 17:30 West Meon 55 SU 643 241 Walk 112.32 27.72
Fri 29 Jun 08:00 West Meon 14:00 Bedales 75 SU 741 252 Walk 127.7 15.38
Group 1 62.48                
Group 2 65.22                

Here are two suggested walks where members of the wider Bedales community could join in:

Remember: use the tracker link (will be added here when live) to see the exact location of the walkers.

Walk 1: Tue 26 Jun - either travel by car or train

9am – Meet the group and depart Truleigh Hill Youth Hostel (Tottington Barn, S Downs Way, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5FB) (Shoreham Station 4 miles).

Walk to the A24 South Downs Way crossing (just South of Washington). (Worthing Station 7 miles).

Distance: 14km

To return, either walk back or get taxi to Shoreham Station.

Walk 2: Thu 28 Jun – car parking available

Start and finish from QE Country Park, A3 South of Petersfield

9am - From the Visitor centre, walk East on South Downs Way to meet up with the walkers heading from Treyford. Meet at approx 10.30am. Turn around and head West with the walkers back to QE Country Park.

Distance: approx 12km

Bedales Events

Highlights include:

  • Concert on 6 February performed by pupils from Bedales, Dunhurst (Bedales Prep) and Dunannie (Bedales Pre-prep) to mark the re-opening of the school’s freshly refurbished Grade 1 listed Arts and Crafts Lupton Hall, built in 1911.
  • A number of former students are returning to perform at the school, including musician Delilah Montagu (19 April) and writer, broadcaster and former MP Gyles Brandreth (30 June). The Eckersley Science Lecture was delivered on 17 May by Professor Roger Penrose of Oxford University, expert on general relativity and son of Bedales head girl of 1919.
  • Circus comes to Bedales - Film of circus workshops and interviews with members of the community about the school’s distinctive ethos and history, focusing on a performance at the 2017 Community Festival - view below.

History timeline

A new History timeline has been published on the Bedales website charting the foundation of the school and key milestones in its 125 year history alongside significant national and international events. On 27 January 1893, one 12 year old and two 14 year old boys arrived at Lindfield, near Haywards Heath at a house called Bedales, rented by John Badley. Five years later, in 1898, the first girls joined the school and Mr and Mrs Badley were able to realise their ambition that Bedales should be for girls as well as boys. In 1900, the Badleys moved the school to its current estate in Steep, having purchased Church Farm and the farm house, Steephurst from Jane Balfour for £8,000. Members of the school community are invited to submit additional historical material to provide richer insights to life at the school (email

Lifelines project

To mark Bedales 125, Bedales Librarian and Archivist, OB Jane Kirby has created a tapestry using Bedales Jacob wool to represent the lives of the earliest Bedalians in graphic form. Each pupil is represented by two ‘picks’ of weft yarn, to give a solid line of weaving across the tapestry.  The width of the tapestry equates to the years 1870-1925.  Find out more about the Lifelines project here, and the Bedales community is welcome see the tapestry hanging in the Memorial Library.

Limited edition ‘Bedales 125’ Emma Bridgewater mugs

For further details, visit our Fundraising Shop.