Founding of the Senior School


Founded in 1978 by Mr Peter Pyemont, Bede's Senior School grew out of Bede's Preparatory School in Eastbourne.

Based at the heart of the rural village of Upper Dicker, the School is set in over 140 beautiful acres of Sussex Downs National Park, a site of Special Scientific Interest, in an estate established by Horatio Bottomley, the notorious swindler, MP and founder of the Financial Times.

During Bottomley's heyday, 'The Dicker' (as the School's site is known) included kennels, a stable yard for breeding racehorses and still boasts the lake and stunning gardens landscaped by Bottomley's team of gardeners.

Indeed Berwick, the local train station, was built where it was because Bottomley influenced the decision in parliament; the stop was originally called 'The Dicker Halt' after the estate.

After Horatio Bottomley was jailed for fraud and his estate repossessed, The Dicker went through several owners before being acquired by the newly founded St Bede's School Trust at the end of the 1970s.

Bede's Senior School grew rapidly over the ensuing years, from a starting figure of 23 pupils to today's roll of approximately 750, making Bede's one of the fastest-growing and most successful independent schools of the 20th Century.

Developments in the last decade alone have seen the construction of a new Sports Complex, and Animal Management Unit and four new boarding houses, the most recent of which were recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for their 'Outstanding Design and Innovation.'

Based around the ethos of holistic education, alumni include Olivier Award-winning Theatre Director Jamie Lloyd, England Rugby player Rob Buchanan and England Hockey player Dilly Newton.

The school's current Headmaster is Peter Goodyer, who joined Bede's in 2016.

Pupil Stories

More Pupil Stories