Ardingly College was originally founded as St. Saviour’s School, Shoreham in 1858 by Canon Nathaniel Woodard whose aim was to provide education based on sound principle and sound knowledge, firmly grounded in the Christian faith. St Saviour’s School opened on 12 April 1858, occupying the New Shoreham buildings in the lee of the churchyard of St Mary de Haura which had been vacated by another Woodard School, Lancing College, when it moved to its permanent home in April 1858.The site at Shoreham however was never intended to be permanent and it was left to Woodard to scour the South of England for a suitable permanent location for St Saviour’s School.
The College’s Combined Cadet Force was established in 1902 in the wake of the Second Boer War.1,200 Old Ardinians went on to fight in World War I, 146 of whom were killed along with two members of staff; their names are recorded on the war memorial in the Chapel. In addition 88 Old Ardinians lost their lives in World War II; their names are recorded in a Book of Remembrance in the Crypt, and on the Memorial Board in the Under.
In 1958 the College celebrated its centenary. As part of the celebrations Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the College on 9 June 1958. A stone plaque on the terrace parapet commemorates the Queen’s visit, where she ‘beheld the view’. Later that week on 14 June 1958 the then Prime Minister Harold MacMillan visited the College to formally open the Centenary Building, which comprises the College cricket pavilion and Centenary Room upstairs. On 8 May 2008 His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent visited the College as part of its sesquicentenary celebrations where he officially opened a new teaching block at the Pre-Preparatory School.