Rev Nathaniel Woodard founded the School in a few small rooms in Shoreham in 1858. It was to be the 'Jewel in the Crown' of his grand design of a national system of schools to restore the Anglican Church to the heart of the nation. Very low fees at £15 per annum meant that it was affordable to the lower middle-classes thus meeting a real need in society.
In the subsequent 50 years Ardingly has gone from strength to strength and become one of the leading co-educational schools in the south of England. This fascinating hardback book by David Gibbs, an author with intimate first-hand experience of the School traces its remarkable history over the last 150 years and is laced with anecdotes and reminiscences, richly illustrated throughout with over 200 archive and contemporary images.
''....acting, writing and performing reviews, I found it all very stimulating. I always remember the sense of humour and there also seemed to be a lot of lunacy, as when Nick Newman and Simon Parke organised a roller bike event round the Front Quad and ran a commentary from the Chapel Tower.''
Ian Hislop, Editor of Private Eye, writing about his schooldays at Ardingly
''The period of adolescence is a time when strong memories are laid down, and Ardingly had a strong and distinctive personality. I knew at the time that my debt to the School was great, but looking back more than 30 years I am more than ever conscious of the enormous and benevolent influence it has been on my life.''
James Lancelot, Master of the Choristers and Organist at Durham Cathedral