Founded in 1970 by Richard Jackson, the main house is an Edwardian mansion set in 200 acres (0.81 km2) in the Surrey Hills. The intern students, aged 16-19, organise their studies and leisure in 8 houses: The Hurtwood Main House, the Lodge, Radnor Cottage, Peaslake House, Ewhurst Place, the Turrets, Beatrice Webb House and Cornhill Manor.
In summer of 2007, Hurtwood gave Leith Hill Place (which was also a boarding house for students) back to the National Trust. They purchased Cornhill Manor towards Ewhurst village proper, which is a mainly rural clustered village, ready for the start of the 2007-2008 academic school year. Each house has its own grounds.
The school, which is non-denominational, offers a two-year pre-university course for students typically aged 16 to 19, mainly focused on GCE 'A' levels.
There are approximately 300 students, divided equally between boys and girls. There is also a high proportion of overseas students who attend the school, notably from China.
The school has a strong national academic record, regularly ranked in a broad category (including 11-16, 11-18 and 13-16, and 13-18 school) as a leading co-educational school.
The school has the highest post-16 "Contextual Value Added" (CVA) score of any school in the UK. This takes into account the achievement of students on entry and measures the improvements they make during their courses of study.
Notable former pupils
- Kate Aumonier, singer
- Nikki Amuka-Bird, actress
- Emily Beecham, actress
- Phoebe Boswell, artist/film maker
- Emily Blunt, actress
- Amelia Brightman, singer
- Amelia Curtis, actress
- William El-Gardi, actor
- Sam Harrison, actor
- Jay Mo, singer/film maker
- Jack Huston, actor
- Jake Pratt, actor
- Tom Mison, actor
- Leah Wood, singer
- Hans Zimmer, composer
- Michael Willems, photographer
- Hannah Herzsprung, actress
- Mikey Pearce, YouTuber
- Eason, Gary (15 January 2009). "Fewer schools below GCSE target". BBC News.
- Hurtwood House website
- Hurtwood House fees
- Micro-site for showing just Performing Arts at Hurtwood House