St Peter's School, Seaford

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St Peter's School, Seaford frontage

St Peter's School, Seaford was an independent boys' Preparatory School in Seaford, East Sussex, England, that ran from 1903 until 1982.


Seaford played host to St Peter's School in 1903, as an Edwardian Prep school when it was founded by a Miss Taylor in Crouch Lane. In 1907 it moved to a purpose built house designed and built by a Mr Morling and there it remained until 1982 when the school closed.

In 1914 Rolf Henderson became the Headmaster and his portrait painted by his brother, Keith, a Scottish artist, hung in the school dining room. In many ways Rolf was the first true Headmaster of St Peters.

On 20 July 1915 the school playing fields were used to host a review of troops by Lord Kitchener.

In 1934 Pat Knox-Shaw, who had joined the school in 1919 as second master, took over the reins as Headmaster on Rolf Henderson's retirement.

With the support of Marjorie, his wife, Pat steered St Peters through until 1956.

In 1940, during the Second World War, St Peters evacuated to The Nare Hotel in Veryan near Falmouth, Cornwall. It soon moved to Castle Hill, home of Lord and Lady Fortescue at Filleigh in North Devon until the end of the war, when in 1945 St Peters moved back to its old home in Seaford, now vacated by the Army, and resumed normal service.

In 1956 Pat and Marjorie retired and Basil Talbot, an assistant Headmaster, a member of the team from the 1930s briefly took over but he retired through ill health.

Mike Farebrother, another assistant Headmaster, took the helm and shortly after was joined by an old boy, Harry Browell who together with Serena his wife, ran St Peters until 1967 when Harry and Serena retired to Australia. The gap was filled by Mike's brother and sister-in-law, John and Margaret Farebrother who moved down from Malvern College where John was a senior housemaster.

As times changed, and boarders began to be fewer, the age of the traditional prep school's days were numbered and that coupled with the age of the Farebrothers left no alternative but to close St Peters in the summer of 1982.

There was an auction and many of the contents were purchased by friends of the school. The buildings and grounds disappeared under a housing estate.

What remains of the school are the large number of old boys many of whom meet at reunions in London held since 1990. They are members of The St Peter's Old Boys Association which has a web-site at St Peter’s, Seaford -

Mike Farebrother died in 1987, John Farebrother died in 1996 and his widow, Margaret Farebrother, died in 2006.

In 2013 a retired teacher at the school, Christopher Jarvis, was convicted of sexually assaulting boys at St Peters in the 1970s. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. Jarvis taught at St Peters from 1962 to 1980, and at Bede's prep school in Eastbourne from 1982 to 2012.[1] In 2015 he was convicted of further cases of sexually assaulting boys at St Peters from 1962 onwards.

Former pupils[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ David Tremayne, Donald Campbell: The Man Behind the Mask (2011), p. 58
  3. ^ 'Randall, Michael Bennett', in The International Who's Who 1991-92 (Europa Publishing, 1991), p. 1,333
  4. ^ Justin Welby to be enthroned as next Archbishop of Canterbury at dated 21 March 2013, accessed 24 February 2014

External links[edit]