Box Hill School

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Box Hill School
Dalewood House, the main building of Box Hill School.JPG
Dalewood House, the main school building

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CoordinatesCoordinates: 51°16′08″N 0°19′30″W / 51.269°N 0.325°W / 51.269; -0.325
TypeIndependent day and boarding school, Public School
FounderMr Roy McComish
Local authoritySurrey
Department for Education URN125388 Tables
ChairMr John Banfield
HeadmasterMr Corydon Lowde[1]
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)Green & Purple         
PublicationThe Boxhillian
Former pupilsOld Boxhillians
PatronHM Constantine II of Greece
ArchitectJohn Norton

Box Hill School is an independent coeducational boarding and day school situated in the village of Mickleham near Dorking, Surrey, England. The school has approximately 425 pupils aged 11–18. The school has a 70% day student:30% boarding student ratio, and is a founding member of the Round Square Conference of Schools.

The school has offered the International Baccalaureate since September 2008 and re-introduced A levels in 2013, meaning both are now available at Sixth Form.[2] It is situated 40 minutes from central London on the direct Dorking and Leatherhead line. The school's patron is HM Constantine II of Greece.


Dalewood House, the main school building, was constructed in 1883 by a local developer called Charles J Fox. The House was designed by the Victorian architect, John Norton (who also designed a number of other buildings of distinction within the UK and Europe including the National Trust house Tyntesfield in Somerset). Although the house was built during the Victorian era, its design is both mock Tudor and Gothic Revival. The interior is full of hand-painted tiles, beautifully crafted stained glass windows, and fine wood panelling, with magnificent fireplaces throughout. In 1890 the house was sold to David Evans (one of the nineteenth century’s pre-eminent silk printers and chairman of 'David Evans & Co'), on whose death it passed to his daughter Lucie Fosberie until 1939. Before Box Hill School took occupation of the house it was in almost continuous private ownership by the Evans family but was converted into use as a school building after the Second World War. The house was requisitioned by the Army as the headquarters of the Pay Corps during the Second World War. In 1951 the house was taken over and run as a school by two Australian sisters.


The school was founded in September 1959 by Roy McComish, a housemaster and art master at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. It is one of the founding schools of the international Round Square association.[3] The grand fireplace in the entrance hall is lit during the colder months of the year, adding to the cheer and warmth of the hall so that friends may gather together around it.


Each student is assigned to a group or third for competitions in music, sports and various other events. These are similar to 'houses' in other boarding schools and are separate from the actual physical Houses that each student is assigned to on arrival for pastoral reasons. The number of thirds has varied over the years, but there are currently four thirds:

  1. Olympians
  2. Spartans
  3. Corinthians
  4. Athenians

Boarding & Day Houses[4][edit]

Box Hill School has six boarding and day houses.

  1. Atwood – built in 2005 and opened by HRH Princess Royal, Atwood House was named after Box Hill School’s second headmaster, Dr Rodney Atwood. It is a purpose-built two-storey house for the senior girl and boy boarders.
  2. Burmester House – a Grade II listed 18th-century house purchased by Box Hill School in 1979, used as a girls' boarding house for senior girls. Many of the rooms have recently been refurbished providing comfortable accommodation in this period house. Burmester has a large garden, which is used by the girls during the summer months for studying, socialising and relaxing.
  3. Constantine – Constantine House was the first purpose-built boarding house at Box Hill School. It was opened in 1990 by the school's Patron, King Constantine II of Greece. Constantine House has its own computer room and was recently extended to provide additional accommodation. It is a boys' boarding and day house.
  4. Dalewood – Dalewood House is the school's main building and was purchased in 1959. Part of the listed building also forms Dalewood boarding house, providing boarding facilities for Years 7 to 11 junior girl boarders. The House underwent extensive refurbishment resulting in beautifully-decorated and comfortable rooms with personal study facilities.
  5. Old Cottage – Old Cottage is a Grade II listed house with parts dating back to the early 17th century. First used for borders in 1963, the house is said to ooze character. It is a senior boys' boarding house for boys from Years 12 and 13. It has a well-maintained garden, which is a popular place to relax and study during the long summer days. It has recently undergone refurbishment and updating.
  6. Ralph - Ralph House is a boys' boarding and day house. This purpose-built house is quirky and provides comfortable living accommodation for the boys. It has a garden in the quad area used for study, BBQs and relaxing during good weather.

Day Houses[4][edit]

The school also has three houses which are just for day pupils from the lower and middle parts of the school (from Years 7 to 11). Juniper (Boys year 7-11), Burford (Boys year 7-11), Polesden (Girls year 7-11), Winthrop Young (Mixed 12-13)

Performing Arts[edit]

The school runs a very full Performing Arts programme, adding a million pound, purpose-built Music School in November 2009.[5] The Summer 2012 school play was Bugsy Malone, and in Christmas 2011 Box Hill School students performed The Crucible by Arthur Miller, directed in the round by Donna Walton and Helen Glen. The Summer 2011 production was an open-air rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The 2015 production saw pupils master a "spaghetti-house" style rendition of Twelfth Nightand more recent productions have included Cabaret, Singing in the Rain and the Great Gatsby.


The latest development of the school's campus is the addition of a multi-million pound Sports Centre which provides extensive facilities including indoor netball, 5 a side football, basketball, badminton, hockey, volleyball and tennis courts as well as cricket nets, PE teaching classroom, fitness suite and changing rooms. Outdoor there is an astroturf pitch for tennis, netball, hockey and football plus another netball and tennis court.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Establishment details
  2. ^ Box Hill School website academic overview
  3. ^ Sheppard, Ronald (1991). Micklam, The Story of a Parish. Mickleham Publications. ISBN 0-9518305-0-3.
  4. ^ a b Box Hill School boarding & pastoral pages "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2014-03-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) and Box Hill prospectus 2014
  5. ^ Martin, Guy (2009-09-13). "Box Hill visit is music to Duke's ears". Dorking Advertiser. Retrieved 2012-07-19.