It’s been a year of anniversaries, from the 300th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Chippendale, after whom the school is named, to the 200th anniversary of the school’s main building, originally built as a farmhouse.
The school is set within rolling countryside two miles away from our nearest town, Haddington, which is this year celebrating its 700th birthday.
Technically, it’s celebrating its status as a royal burgh which was confirmed in 1318 by King Robert the Bruce’s seal.
The town should really be celebrating its 900th birthday, because the town had become a royal burgh about 200 years beforehand – but had mislaid its original charter.
The name Haddington derives from the Anglo-Saxon, and dates from the sixth or seventh century. The town, and the surrounding area, was ceded by King Edgar of England and became part of Scotland in the tenth century.
Over the years the town, which was once Scotland’s fourth largest town, has been besieged and ransacked several times, largely because it lies close to one of the main routes between Edinburgh and London.
The treaty between France and Scotland that betrothed the future Mary Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin was signed in Haddington, and documents signed by the tragic Mary in 1565 are on display in the town’s museum.
The last time the town was attacked was in 1941 when a German bomber, believed to have been aiming for an army convoy, dropped bombs on the town, killing three people.
Nowadays, Haddington is a quiet and peaceful place, with a good selection of pubs, restaurants and other amenities. It’s also been home to many of our students who we’ve placed in accommodation there.
That’s one of the advantages of the Chippendale school. Students who come to us don’t have to worry about things like transport or accommodation or doctors and dentists.
Our student support programme handles all of that – allowing students to concentrate on their course and, of course, to explore the long history of our part of Scotland.