About Us

History of Dorset House

Under various names, Dorset House has been in existence since 1784, originally in Hertfordshire but for eighty years in Littlehampton. In 1964, the School, then in private ownership, closed there but during its last term, Bury Manor School charitable trust was set up by parents, old boys and friends of the School to purchase Bury Manor where Dorset House now resides.  The trust still owns and runs the school via our Board of Governors. We are proud of the school’s long history and you will find the names of some of the ex-Headmasters in use as our four Houses are Wilkinson, Munro, Sims and Hutchinson and our Pre-Prep building is known as `Champs’ – named after Tony Champion (HM 1983 – 1988).

Bury Manor has an extraordinary history. In 1066 the records show it was then owned by Countess Goda, sister of Edward the Confessor, but the Normans handed it over to the Monks of Fecamp, a Benedictine monastic order who farmed the Manor for centuries. The Great Barn was built in the 16th Century.

It is interesting to note that in the past, Dorset House offered rowing, sailing and fishing. There was also the first Bury Scout Troop which involved both the children at DH and some local children from the village. Our new leadership programme echoes the activities enjoyed by children in this idyllic setting in the past.


1784 Totteridge Park School, Hertfordshire Not Known
1830s Totteridge Park School R Wilkinson
1850s David Munro employed as Usher, married Robert Wilkinson’s daughter R Wilkinson
1860s Robert Wilkinson retired and David Munro became HM D Munro
1865 Totteridge Park School moved to Hendon and became Brent Bridge House D Munro
1874 Brent Bridge House moved to Elstree and became Hillside School D Munro
1886 Hillside School moved to Littlehampton and became The School House D Munro & Sons
1900 The School House and Dorset House merge and become Dorset House – a preparatory school M Munro/ Beecheno
1905 David Munro retires and his son, Malcolm becomes HM M Munro
1912 Mr Beecheno retires and Munro buys the school M Munro
1922 Mr Robert `Bertie’ Sims becomes assistant master M Munro
1933 Mr and Mrs Sims join Malcolm Munro in partnership M Munro
1936 Malcolm Munro retires and Mr Sims becomes HM R Sims
1960 Mr Sims retires – Mr Crathorne becomes HM  J Crathorne
1963/4 Mr Sims sells the school buildings and DH moves to Bury R Hutchinson
1983 Mr Hutchinson retires and T Champion becomes HM T Champion
1988 Mr Champion retires and Andrew James becomes HM A James
2003 New teaching block, Wildbrooks opened. Euan Clarke becomes HM E Clarke
2006 Co-education introduced in Nursery E Clarke
2008 Flexi-Boarding introduced, full Co-education introduced, Saturday school ends, Richard Brown becomes HM R C M Brown
2016 Matt Thomas becomes HM M R Thomas