Bedales 125

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

Bedales 125 walk 

A centre-piece of the 125th celebrations was an ambitious 125 km five-day expedition for a group of students and teachers. The walkers hiked 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, incorporated the Sussex Border Path, Monarch's Way and South Downs Way. Old Bedalians and parents were invited to join up with the group for parts of the walk along the route and could track the group’s progress via GPS tracker. 

See photobook of the walk.

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 returned 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 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 archive@bedales.org.uk).

Lifelines project

To mark Bedales 125, Bedales Librarian and Archivist, OB Jane Kirby 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.