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Heatherdown School, formally and often called Heatherdown Preparatory School, was an independent preparatory school for boys, near Ascot, in the English county of Berkshire. Set in 30 acres (12 ha) of grounds, it typically taught between eighty and ninety boys between the ages of seven and thirteen and closed in 1982.
During their first year at the school, boys attended classes in the main school building but at night returned to Heatherlea, a small house set back from the London Road near the Royal Foresters Hotel. Heatherlea typically had around eight boys and two matrons.
The school had its own miniature steam railway that ran around a substantial area of the grounds. It was set up by Henry May, who ran a garage in Ascot. The railway was used by enthusiasts from outside the school, although boys were regularly recruited as passengers and spectators. The railway had one station, a halt, a tunnel and a turntable.
Notable former pupils
The school's pupils included:
- Prince Andrew, Duke of York
- Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
- Andrew Russell, 15th Duke of Bedford
- David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley
- Alexander Cockburn, writer
- Sir Edward Fielden, pilot and Second World War hero
- Giles Goschen, 4th Viscount Goschen
- Bryan Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne
- Victor Hely-Hutchinson
- George Mountbatten, 4th Marquess of Milford Haven
- Lord Ivar Mountbatten
- David Niven, actor
- Angus Ogilvy
- James Ogilvy
- John Drummond, 9th Earl of Perth
- Oliver Shepard
- David Carnegie, 4th Duke of Fife
- George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews
- King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, 4th King of Bhutan
According to Francis Elliot and James Hanning's biography of David Cameron, the school was renowned for its academic and sporting excellence.
The last Headmaster of the School was James V. Edwards. After closing in 1982 for financial difficulty, the buildings was bought by the Licensed Victuallers, in order to set up a junior school. The buildings were eventually demolished in 1989 at which point the site was redeveloped to house both the LVS junior school and the senior school, which moved to Ascot from its previous location in Slough.
- Heidi Blake & Murray Wardrop, Heatherdown Prep: the exclusive school that taught David Cameron his ambition from The Daily Telegraph dated 27 February 2010 at telegraph.co.uk, accessed 20 June 2012