Mayfield’s former pupils are known as Old Cornelians, after Mother Cornelia Connelly, who, in 1863, took schoolgirls from the Holy Child School at St Leonards-on-Sea on a picnic to the rural ruins of the Old Palace of Mayfield, which she thought would be a splendid site for a school. Nowadays, there’s a lay headmistress (Antonia Beary, whose career is steeped in the Catholic faith) and it takes all denominations, but it is still underpinned by Catholicism – sixth-formers attend a weekly liturgy in the chapel.

Mayfield is famed for its equestrian successes under director of riding Jill Barker – girls may bring their horses to school or share one and there are both indoor and outdoor arenas – but the school is high-achieving in many fields. A wide range of academic subjects includes economics and Latin at A level and classical civilisation and food and nutrition at GCSE.

  • 350+ girls aged 11–18, day and boarding
  • £7,000–£11,300