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Roedean School and St Dunstan's

The south coast road showing Roedean School (left), St Dunstan's (right), and Ovingdean/ Rottingdean on the horizon.
From the private collection of Jennifer Drury.

I have been on a trawl through my photo collection and thought you might like to see this interesting shot. It is more usual to see individual views of Roedean School and St Dunstan’s, but I particularlly like this sweeping view of these two important institutions.

Founded in 1915

The St Dunstan’s Institute for men and women blinded on war service, was founded by Sir Arthur Pearson, in February 1915 at Bayswater Road, London, as the Blind Soldiers and Sailors Hostel. By 1918 nearly 2,000 blinded men were being trained for work in the outside world. The building at Ovingdean Gap, known as Ian Fraser House, was built in 1937-9 to an International Modern design by Francis Lorne, with the foundation stone laid by Sir Arthur’s widow, Lady Pearson, on 6 September 1937.

Rebuilding lives after sight loss

Established as a charity during the First World War, St Dunstan’s helped thousands of blinded servicemen, and went on to care for and offer training and rehabilitation to those blinded in the Second World War and subsequent conflicts. Tens of thousands of ex-servicemen and women have benefited from the charity’s assistance in rebuilding their lives after sight loss.

Education for girls

Roedean, one of the most famous of girls’ schools, was founded in October 1885, with ten girls and no particular name, at 25 Lewes Crescent by the Misses Dorothy, Millicent and Penelope Lawrence, in an effort to provide more than the rudimentary education that it was then customary for girls to receive. You may discover more of its development here.

Comments about this page

  • The best view of Roedean I can remember is one early morning with a sea mist over the cliffs, that hid the bottom of the college so that it looked as though it was floating in the clouds almost like a fairy castle.

    By Ken Ross (17/09/2020)
  • When we were at the Bristol Garage in Church Place during the 1950s we had the taxi contract for Roedean School. Our taxi driver was George Farthing. The cars we ran as taxis were a Wolseley 14hp and a Vauxhall 25hp which had a division between the driver and passengers from which two ‘occasional’ seats folded out so six passengers could be carried in the back. Very useful when collecting lots of girls from the station.
    There was also another earlier branch of St Dunstans at Portland House in Chesham Road and I well remember the ex-service men with their white sticks.
    Rottingdean windmill can also be seen on the hill to the right of St Dunstans.

    By Tim Sargeant (17/09/2020)
  • My Grandfather Cother was instrumental in developing a rockery at the front of St. Dunstans, which I believe has now gone. I am not sure of the year the rockery was built.

    By Bonny Cother (26/09/2020)

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