About us

History of giving

Cranleigh is blessed with a history of philanthropic support from within and beyond our community. We are enormously grateful to all our past supporters for the invaluable contributions they have made and the life-changing opportunities they help us to provide.

You can trace how Cranleigh has been shaped by gifts from past generous benefactors on this timeline.

If you would like to support us today, please give here.

Figures in brackets show the value of the gift in today’s money. This has been calculated with the National Archives currency converter. However, today’s cost for building equivalent buildings, e.g. the Chapel, would be much more than today’s equivalent amount of what was spent in 1869.



Pledge made to fund Surrey County School

The founding committee of 16 men pledges over £800 (equivalent in today’s money to £47,303) for the founding of the School, Surrey County School, later re-named Cranleigh School. The School is ‘for the sons of farmers and others engaged in commercial pursuits’. The document is a draft of the original letter about the School written in 1864.


MP donates land for new school in Cranleigh

George Cubitt MP donates an eight-acre site just outside Cranleigh to the School. The founding committee raises £3,500 (£206,952) for the school by the summer. 200,000 bricks are ordered for the building of the School.


Public donations fund new Cranleigh School

At the School’s opening HM Joseph Merriman says: ‘This is a public school in the very widest sense. It had a public origin. It has been brought to its present state by public appeals’.


Benefactor funds building of school chapel

The Chapel is built with a donation by Sir Henry Peek (in memory of his mother, Elizabeth) at a cost of £5,500 (£344,349). The Chapel benefits from gifts, often of stained-glass windows, which are donated between 1869-91.


School receives gift of clock for clock tower

Sir Cuthbert Peek donates a clock for clock tower at a cost of £82 (£6,134).


MP pays for sanatorium at School

The Sanatorium is gifted by George Cubitt MP.


A new science laboratory is funded by a benefactor

DD Heath, a ‘considerable benfactor of the School’, funds new and fully-equipped science laboratory.



Cranleigh receives an endowment

A school on the coast run by Sir Henry Peek’s brother closes and the endowment of £2,000 (£156,344) is switched to Cranleigh.


Oak seating donated for the chapel

John Williams (1&4 South 1876) donates new oak seating for the Chapel, replacing the original deal seats


Old Cranleighans club together to fund the Merriman block

The Merriman Block – originally called the New Block – is opened with the help of funds from Old Cranleighans (OCs).


More laboratories and land given to Cranleigh School

The Chemistry and Physics laboratories at the top of the golf course are opened, a gift from Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey; the North Field, leased since 1896, is presented to the School by Henry Cubitt.


Cranleigh Prep School open

The Prep School, known as New House, opens 1913.


Old Cranleighans give land to the school

14 acres are presented to the School by OCs to commemorate the School’s Golden Jubilee.


War memorial fund launched

A war memorial fund is set up to erect cenotaph in front of School.


Old Cranleighans fund cricket pavilion to commemorate those who died in the war

The cricket pavilion, a memorial to OCs who died in the war, is funded by OCs and opened on Jubilee.


Children take part in pageant to raise money for new chapel organ

The Pageant, involving hundreds of boys as well as girls from St Catherine’s, raises £200 (£8,211) towards the £2,000 (£82,117) cost of a new organ for the Chapel.


Governors launch scholarship scheme

Governors launch a scholarship scheme costing £290 (£13,278) per year, the top scholarship being worth just under half the fees.


Library and reading room funded by benefactor

OC John Wheeler Williams funds the re-modelling of classrooms on either side of the main entrance to create the Library and Reading Room.


Lord Devonport funds building of Speech Hall

The Connaught block, Devonport Speech Hall and Headmaster’s House are opened. Lord Devonport pays all the costs of the Speech Hall.


Devonport Speech Hall opens


New gates funded

Earl of Midleton funds new entrance gates to replace the rather agricultural ones then in position.


Common room and Old Cranleighans fund new squash courts

Two squash courts are built with funding coming from the Common Room and OCs.


School funds 18 scholarships

Cranleigh funds 18 scholarships to a total value of £1,000 (£39,346).


Cranleigh receives legacies from OCS and former staff

Pilot Officer JG Pope, a master who was killed in the war, leaves a bequest of £1,000 (£35,551) and all his scientific biological books, papers, microscopic slides and instruments to the School. The widow of George Antrobus, a former master, bequeaths a house to Cranleigh and money to New College Oxford to set up a the Cranleigh Scholarship. Colonel Armstrong gives ‘a most generous sum of money’ to endow prizes for classics in memory of his son Richard, who was killed in the war. The extract from Cranleighan Magazine reports these legacies.


Parents and OCS give trees to create orchard to combat post-war food rationing

Fruit trees are donated by OCs and parents to develop an orchard on the lower slope in front of the Prep School as a way to supplement the pupils’ diet with fruit during post-war rationing.


OCS and friends of Cranleigh fund new facilities at Prep School

New gymnasium, kitchen and library are built for Prep School and paid for by OCs and other friends of Cranleigh as a war memorial.


School receives grant for extension to science laboratories

Cranleigh receives a £6,000 (£143,192) grant from the Industrial Fund for the Advancement of Scientific Education towards the cost of an extension to the science laboratories.


Centenary appeal launched

The new swimming bath and changing rooms open as a memorial to OCs killed in the war as a first stage in the building programme connected with the Centenary Appeal. By 1959, the appeal has raised £60,000 (£1,257,660).


OC gives money for conversion of tuck shop

‘Ancient OC’, Revd Joseph Fenner Spink, gives £2,500 (£52,403) towards the tuck shop conversion.


New classrooms funded by centenary appeal

The six-classroom Rhodes Block opens as part of the ongoing Centenary Appeal.


Chapel at Prep School built with donation by OC

The new Prep School Chapel is built with a donation of £12,500 (£262,012) from Revd Joseph Fenner Spink.


Centenary appeals almost reaches target

Announcement that Centenary Appeal target of £200,000 (£3,804,110) has almost been reached.


‘Ancient OC’ leaves final gift to Cranleigh

The Centenary Appeal receives the final instalment of a legacy left by the Rev Joseph Fenner Spink. The total amount of the legacy was £5,845 (£82,319). Spink had been one of the most generous benefactors in the history of the School. His total gifts to the School amounted to £25,841 (£363,934).


Introduction of full-fees scholarship

A full-fees scholarship is offered for the first time and other awards were up-graded and linked to fee levels.


Legacy pays to replace organ and reorganisation of Chapel

A legacy of £30,000 (£228,927) enables the purchase of a new organ for the Chapel, a re-organisation of the seating and a removal of screens and organ pipes from the ambulatory.


Legacy funds new pickup sports pitch

JR Pickup (1 North 1897-1902) leaves £37,000 (£144,467) to the School. This is used to construct a new redgra (now an astroturf) which is named after him.


OC widow leaves legacy for bursary

The widow of an OC leaves the residue of her estate, around £42,000 (£163,989), to the School for the ‘education and maintenance at Cranleigh School of a worthy and poor boy’.


Former Headmaster leaves legacy to Cranleigh

Bishop David Loveday (Headmaster, 1931-54) leaves a bequest to Cranleigh which is used to provide new mobile efficient seating for the Speech Hall.


Music School benefits form an OC Widow's legacy

An OC widow leaves a bequest of £30,000 (£82,611) to the School which is used to make a series of improvements to the Music School.


School receives largest legacy to date

An OC leaves a generous legacy of around £500,000 (£1,376,850) in memory of his father (also an OC).


New theatre opens thanks to donations to 1990 appeal

Vivian Cox Theatre is opened by Sir John Mills. It was built following donations of the 1990 Appeal and the generosity of OC Vivian Cox ((1 & 4 South, 1925-34).


OC leaves bequest to school and OC society

An OC leaves a fifth of his estate to the School (and a fifth to the OC Society). Each share is worth around £150,000 (£310,305).


Legacy establishes Eric Abbott awards

Eric Abbott (1 North 1917-1921) leaves £200,000 (£306,880) to endow the Eric Abbott Awards ‘for pupils who can contribute significantly to the life of the School’.



New sports centre opened, part-funded by OCS

The Trevor Abbott Sports Centre opens, funded in part by OCs, replacing the gym which has been used since 1897.


Anonymous donor funds building of lecture theatre

An anonymous donor funds the Academic Lecture Theatre in the new Emms Centre.


OCS help fund renovation of Jubilee Pavilion

A £500,000 renovation of the Jubilee Pavilion takes place, part-funded by OCs with a donation of £300,000.


OC Vivian Cox leaves legacy

OC Vivian Cox (1 & 4 South, 1925-34) bequeaths £655,000 (£856,489) to the School. The School’s legacy society is named in his memory.


OC society gives donation to Cranleigh Foundation

The Old Cranleighan Society gives £300,000 to Cranleigh Foundation.


School receives legacy

An OC bequeaths £86,885 to Cranleigh School.


OC funds new mander organ

This is part of a £2 million-refurbishment of the Chapel, part-funded by OCs and parents.


OCs Raise funds to create pitch in menory of OC David Bluett

OCs club together to raise money to create a pitch – Bluett’s – in memory of OC David Bluett (2 North, 1951-55).


Beyond ourselves

Cranleigh enters a partnership with the charity in a commitment to support Kawama Community School (a primary school in Zambia). £175,000 is raised in first five years.


Legacy helps fund chapel restoration

The School receives a £3,000 legacy from an OC bequeathed to help fund the Chapel restoration.


Parents donate tress to mark Prep School's centenary DONATE TREES TO MARK PREP SCHOOL’S CENTENARY

Copse of 100 trees is donated by families is planted to mark centenary of Prep School.


Sale of Old Chapel Pews raises £20,000

The oak pews, installed in 1902, are sold off to parents to make way for mobile seating and raises over £20,000.


New war memorial created to mark centenary of First World War

‘Leaving’ War Memorial designed by leading sculptor, OC Nicholas Dimbleby (2 North, 1960-64), is funded, in part by donations from OCs. It is unveiled to mark centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme and the end of the School’s 150th year.


First Foundationer pupil leaves Cranleigh

Our first Foundationer completed her education at Cranleigh. Her place had been funded in its entirety by an anonymous donor.


Legacy from former member of common room completes chapel refurbishment

Physics Master, Geoffrey Donald (1968-96) leaves a bequest which complete the installation of Chapel glass doors.


OC widow leaves bequest

A widow of an Old Cranleighan leaves a bequest in memory of her husband.


Townsend building opens at Cranleigh Prep

Major donors, Anthony and Carolyn Townsend, open the Townsend Building at the Prep School. Mr Townsend was a long-serving Chairman of the Governors. The building houses state-of the-art facilities for design, art, sciences and food technology.


OC Nick Meyer walks Cornish coastline to raise over £25,000

OC and chairman of the Trustees of the Foundation, Nick Meyer, takes on the challenge of walking 300 miles of the Cornish coast over the summer of 2019 in aid of the Cranleigh Foundation. He raises over £25,000.


OC leaves legacy to Cranleigh

John Oram (East, 1936-40) leaves a legacy of £242,048 to the Cranleigh Foundation in his will.

Where next?

Cranleigh House L6th Team Building Afternoon

Ways of Giving

Our Beneficiaries

Our Donors