This abandoned building is an old manor-turned school, sat on a hill, towering over a nice residential area in Surrey. The house was built in 1899 and was extended in the 1950s when it was converted into a preparatory school. It was known as Haslemere Prep School, or more commonly by students as “The Heights.” The school had been extended again more recently before the site closed completely in 2016. This was due to decreasing numbers of students and increasing running costs.
Being seen is a definite risk as the site is quite open and overlooked by neighbours, which means you’ll be seen or heard if too loud. However, accessing the grounds itself was easy, as was getting into the building. Although destined to be ripped down to make way for more nice housing, the original building still had a lot of history within its walls. There are still whiteboards in classrooms and signs for the kids sports teams on the walls. You could really see how the school would’ve been laid out- the gymnasium is easy to find. The science lab still has desks, ready to teach kids why explaining ‘how electron microscopy has increased understanding of sub-cellular structures’ is something they’ll need to know going into adulthood…
When walking around, be careful of broken glass as there is plenty in the building. With the building being as old and derelict as it is there could be areas of the floor which struggle to hold the weight of a human, especially in the old part of the complex. Although a standard part of exploring kit, a torch is absolutely necessary with this explore as some rooms of the building have absolutely no natural light in them.
The future of the site
The local council rejected planning permission in 2019. This was on the grounds that the original building was designed by a local architect and his work should be preserved. However, recently developers have been granted permission to build 6 houses and 14 flats on the site.
On the evening of 2nd May 2022 a fire broke out at the derelict school, with four teenagers arrested. Ten fire engines battled the blaze which engulfed multiple buildings.
Last Updated on 16 November 2021 by Michael