This familiar building in Rottingdean High Street was as used as a school by the Vicar of Rottingdean, The Rev Dr. Hooker, as an overflow for his school at the Grange from 1792 onwards.
It seems that by 1832 it was run by his schoolmaster Mr Kennedy as it is called ‘Kennedy’s School’ on Parlby’s map of that date.
By 1863 the building was a school called Field House run by a Mr Hewitt. Famous alumni included Admiral Jellicoe and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
In 1887 the brothers Henry and George Mason established Rottingdean School here, moving it to the purpose-built preparatory school at the north end of the village in 1894.
Thus in 1895 Charles Stanford founded what is known as St Aubyns boys boarding prep school in the vacant building, where it was to remain for 118 years until 2013. It became regarded as the finest prep school in England. In the 1960’s 60% of the pupils went on to Eton, while others went to Charterhouse, Marlborough, Harrow, Radley, Sherborne, Stowe, Wellington and Winchester. In more recent years, when the school catered mainly for day pupils and became co-ed, the pupils tended to be prepared for more local schools such as Brighton College, Hurstpierpoint, Lancing and Roedean.
Following the closure and sale of the school and sports field, planning permission was granted for conversion of the house, cottage style development on the rear of the site, plus some development on the field.
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If you have any digital images of this place that you would like to share with us then please contact our archivist Mr Mike Laslett, or his assistant Mrs Karen North. Their contact details are on our Who we are Page.