Here are a few little-known facts about the history of our School:
- Downside and Eton are the only schools allowed to wear their own CCF cap badge, an honour given by King George VI.
- Downside Abbey is one of only four Minor Basilicas in the country. It was given the title in 1935, under Pope Pius XI. You can watch the consecration ceremony on YouTube.
- The Nave was dedicated to families of OGs who died in The Great War.
- We keep the tradition of the Downside Ball Game alive. You can see the wall when you look out of the windows of the Gasquet Hall.
- We are proud to have access to materials in the Monastery Library. The collection is the largest single repository of its type in the British Isles and includes the missionary collections of the Benedictine Order in the New World.
- When you’re next on the Rugby 1st XV pitch, consider the fact that it was constructed by pupils almost 100 years ago (you can see photos in the Downside: A Pictorial History book), and be grateful that weekend activities have changed a little bit in the intervening years!
“It’s the little traditions that make Downside so lovely” (Tatler Schools Guide 2016)