|29 Sep 2023|
|News from The Old Place|
Today, 29th September 2023 - the Feast of St Michael and all Angels - is a very special day in Worth's history as it marks the 90th Anniversary of the foundation of Worth Priory and the opening of Worth Prep School in 1933.
The plan to make a new foundation in the early 1930s came about from a combination of two issues facing Downside at the time. Abbot John Chapman was not only facing a practical problem of overcrowding in the monastery, but an idealogical movement of reforming zeal amongst some of his younger monks which he sought to resolve by founding a new monastic house of relatively strict observance to which they could be sent to cool off! Independently, Downside's Head Master, Dom Sigebert Trafford, also suffering from overcrowding, was anxious to hive off his Junior School (boys aged 8-13) and form a 'tied' prep school at a fresh location. Somehow these different sets of interest were fused in a single scheme which, despite its unpromising origins, proved to be an enduring success and became one of the largest and most successful prep schools in the country.
We recently celebrated this important milestone here at Worth with an event for some of the first prep school students who came here in the years before Worth became a senior school in 1959. It was wonderful to see these gentlemen reminiscing about their days at the School as well as admiring what Worth has become.