School History

Casterton Sedbergh Prep School - History Image

When Cressbrook School, Kirkby Lonsdale closed in 1976, facilities were made available to educate some of the pupils at Sedbergh. Cressbrook School had been founded in 1913 by Felix Dowson, a student in Evans House 1892 – 1897. Rather than have the pupils move to a school which fed into a different secondary school, it was decided that the 20 oldest boys would be accommodated at Sedbergh. It was hoped that this would encourage them to continue at Sedbergh School when the time came for them to move up to the senior school.

Peter Yorke, former deputy head of Cressbrook School, and several other staff members moved to Sedbergh with the boys after Cressbrook School closed. A new Cressbrook house was opened on the site of what is now Robertson, half of the building was converted to Cressbrook and the other half remained as the Sanitorium. In November 1976 it was decided that the house might continue to be open to 11 and 12 year olds the following year. By 1978 there were enough junior entrants to fill Cressbrook House and over the next ten years the House was expanded several times to take more and more pupils. By 1987 the house could accommodate up to 60 boys. In 2002 the Prep School moved to the site of Bentham Grammar school at Low Bentham to make use of the full range of facilities. This move allowed the school to develop into a school in its own right with its own ethos and traditions.

The opportunity to return to Sedbergh arose in 2008 when it was proposed that ‘The Terrace’ and Marshall House could be converted to provide separate boarding houses for both boys and girls as well as new classroom spaces near the Senior School Library. An extensive renovation project was undertaken to convert the chaplaincy, school shop, archive store, squash courts and ‘The Terrace,’ and in January 2009 the new the Prep School site welcomed pupils. The school continued to expand and each year new facilities were made available to the school community. As we look towards the 40th Anniversary of Juniors at Sedbergh, there is much to celebrate.

In 2013 the merger between Casterton and Sedbergh allowed for further expansion with the junior school relocating to the site of the former Casterton School, allowing for a much needed increase in space and facilities.