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What is Christ’s Hospital?

Christ’s Hospital is one of the most distinctive organisations in the Horsham District but the extraordinary extent of its charitable giving is its best kept secret. At the heart of Christ’s Hospital is a unique independent boarding school providing an outstanding education for children, aged 11-18, from all backgrounds, supported by a thriving community of over 450 staff with a commercial arm that hires the facilities during school holidays. Funded by income from its endowment, topped-up by the generosity of donors, Christ’s Hospital is the most philanthropic educational charity in the country, assisting over 90% of pupils, providing a life-changing opportunity for children, particularly those in need.

History of the School
Christ’s Hospital was established for boys and girls of ‘the poor’ in Newgate Street, London in 1552; it was unusual for a school to admit both girls and boys. Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, many children (mostly girls) were sent to Hertfordshire whilst parts of the Newgate School were rebuilt.

In the late 18th Century, living conditions for the poor in London were difficult and a decision was made to move the School. A 1200 acre site, which stretches into the Southwater Parish, was purchased from the Aylesbury Dairy Farm and the Trustees of Christ’s Hospital invited architects Aston Webb and Ingress Bell to design the new School. Longleys of Crawley were the builders producing work to a high standard. Original details from the London site were incorporated – including the Wren portico, ‘Big School’s’ clock tower and cupolas, the Grecians’ Cloister (that was divided to make two arches at the Horsham site). A labyrinth of underground passages were also dug which criss-cross the site and are known as ‘The Tube’. The London and South Coast Railway provided a new station (Christ’s Hospital Station) to transport, as it does today, pupils who live in London to Horsham. Christ’s Hospital opened in 1902 for boys only; the girls were transferred from Hertford to Horsham in 1985.