Beechwood Park School

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Beechwood Park School
Established 1964
Type Preparatory day and boarding
Religion Church of England
Headmaster Edward Balfour
Location Markyate
St Albans
United Kingdom
51°49′09″N 0°29′05″W / 51.81917°N 0.48477°W / 51.81917; -0.48477Coordinates: 51°49′09″N 0°29′05″W / 51.81917°N 0.48477°W / 51.81917; -0.48477
Local authority Hertfordshire
DfE URN 117620 Tables
Students c.500 pupils
Gender Coeducational
Ages 3–13
Houses 4

Green Maroon


Beechwood Park School, also familiarly referred to as "Beechwood", is a co-educational independent day and flexi boarding school in Hertfordshire in England, UK for children from nursery age to year 8. It is set on the site of an old mansion house with extensions put in over the last 50 years including the junior school, middle school, sports hall and performance hall. Most recent developments include the new onsite Woodlands Nursery, which opened in September 2015 and also the covered swimming pool complex, officially opened by Karen Pickering MBE in July 2015.


Beechwood Park School was formed in 1964 by the amalgamation of two much older prep schools, Shirley House (in Watford) and Heath Brow School (in Hemel Hempstead).[1] By 1961 the buildings and estate of Beechwood Park were in a terrible state of neglect and disrepair. The former family seat of the aristocratic Sebright family had become a somewhat anarchic girls’ boarding school, and then an uninhabited ruin (reputed, then as now, to be haunted). It was apparently close to demolition when it went on the market in 1961. The Stewart family who owned Shirley House put in a successful bid and decided to restore it. Shortly after Group Captain Peter Stewart OBE (the brother of a former Head of Shirley House) became Estates Manager of Beechwood and he is regarded as the present school's true founder.[2] The school's first head master was Alan Mould.[3] The school roll has since increased to about 470 pupils.[3] Pupils at the school are divided into four houses, named Tudor, Saunders, Sebright and Stewart in homage to the history of the school and its buildings.[3]

Popular culture[edit]

The school was used as a location for the film The Dirty Dozen in 1967.[4]

The school was the subject of the 1967 song "Beechwood Park" by St. Albans band the Zombies on their Odessey and Oracle album. The song's writer and Zombies' guitarist, Chris White lived at nearby Markyate .

On the school speech days a famous figure makes a speech. Previous readers being Martin Bayfield and MBE Karen Pickering.



  1. ^ Beechwood Park School
  2. ^ Thatcher, Chris (2014). "Beechwood Park School, Markyate, Hertfordshire". Oxford Archaeological Unit. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Information Booklet 2012 /13". Beechwood Park. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Dirty Dozen film at Beechwood - Local History Questions". Hemel Hempstead Gazette. Retrieved 27 July 2010. [dead link]

External links[edit]