Yardley Court
A Brief History

Our thriving, modern prep school for boys dates back to 1898, when Arthur Bickmore and his wife, Lilian, opened a school with 12 pupils at Yardley Court in Tonbridge. It remained under the leadership of several members of the Bickmore family, who oversaw huge expansion and development of the school, until 1990. For many years, Yardley Court was known locally as ‘Bickie’s place’, and the Pre-Prep, opened in 1987, was appropriately named ‘Bickies’.

In 1990, the family sold the original Yardley Court site and the school moved to Somerhill. Derwent Lodge joined three years later. Since then the site has been substantially developed for the modern era, including The Bickmore Hall, our fantastic sports hall, built in 2002. Our story is captured in a brilliant book by Jane Bakowski – Leap of Faith: A History of Yardley Court School, Tonbridge, 1898-2010, published by Gresham Books Ltd in association with Yardley Court School.

For more detail on our history please go to our Heritage page.