Bedales School was originally founded in 1893 at Lindford, near Haywards Heath, Sussex by John Haden Badley and Oswald Byrom Powell. The building in which the original school was located was an Elizabethan Manor house, named Bedales. The popularity of its liberal values grew. In order to take more pupils, it needed to expand its premises. Initially the landlord agreed to new building at Lindford, but then realised the size of the proposed extension and withdrew permission. Another site was thus sought. The Church Farm estate of 87 acres at Steep was bought, with its farmhouse Steephurst. This was a red brick Victorian villa at the time, and owned by Jane Balfour. The school moved to Steep in 1900. Further land was later bought from the John Bonham-Carter estate.
There is more information about the history of Bedales School and some of its buildings on the school website:
Bedales School has its own archive. Get in touch with Jane Kirby or Ian Douglas: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or visit the Bedales Schools Digital Archive where you can view digitized early editions of The Chronicle which was first published in 1907.
The Steep Buildings Gardens and Monuments book gives details of Bedales Buildings old and new see Books about Steep, its History and those who have lived in Steep
The book ‘Bedales School The First Hundred Years’ by Roy Wake and Pennie Denton pub Haggerston Press 1993 – gives a history of the school.