Above and beyond our first-class departmental resources, we are proud to offer all pupils access to the following outstanding learning resources.

The Library and Resources Centre

Bedford School's impressive library provides a superb resource for boys and staff alike.

A place of study, collaboration, development, creativity and knowledge, the Upper School library provides a wide range of resources for the whole school community, both within the library and across the school network.

Our aim is to ensure that the resources are relevant, accessible, appropriate and up-to-date. We work closely with Heads of Department, and new resources are purchased in line with current curriculum needs and in response to subject and individual requests. We also address the needs of the IB extended essay, BSIP, EPQ, coursework and wider reading for university applications.

Reading is encouraged and developed by the subject departments and library staff, and recommended reading lists are available and shared in the library and on the library catalogue. We also have regular initiatives like the Tutor Group Reading Challenge to encourage boys and staff to share extend their reading choices. 

Online Resources & Digital Media

The library is a multimedia resource centre providing information across the school network, the virtual learning environment and at home. Our online resources and digital media currently include:

Ickwell Field Centre

Located 10 miles to the south of Bedford, Ickwell Bury is the school's own conservation reserve. With extensive grounds including a large lake and woodland, the site provides a fantastic opportunity for boys to take part in a range of activities in the open air.

There are several interesting buildings on the site and a nature reserve that provides an oasis of unspoilt habitat in an intensively farmed part of the country. Besides the academic work, there are opportunities for practical conservation, and the site is also used for Duke of Edinburgh and CFF activities by both boys and other Harpur Trust Schools. Ickwell is also available for use by education groups from the wider community and local schools. 

If you would like further details, please email ickwell@bedfordschool.org.uk

Ickwell Newsletters


Observatory and Planetarium

Bedford School has the largest school observatory in the South East region and is currently the only school in the UK to have its own observatory and planetarium. Sited on the Bedford School estate, the observatory and planetarium are operated by the school’s astronomer in conjunction with members of the Bedford Astronomical Society.


The Piazzi Smyth Observatory was opened in October 2000 and provides an important resource in the teaching and public understanding of astronomy.

The observatory was named in honour of Charles Piazzi Smyth (OB) who was Astronomer Royal for Scotland for many years and a pioneer of high-altitude observing. The project was funded by major grants from The Bedford School Trust, The Harpur Trust and The Wolfson Foundation, along with other generous donations from local businesses and Old Bedfordians.

The main 5m dome houses a Meade LX 200 16" computer controlled telescope which offers stunning views of the Moon, Planets and Deep Sky Objects. Several portable telescopes ranging from 6" to 13" diameter are also used from the outside observation deck.

The Wolfson Planetarium

The adjacent Wolfson Planetarium, opened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in May 2002, houses a 4-metre dome and star projector.

The planetarium acts as a valuable resource room and is available for use by schools and community groups for meetings, slide shows and projected views of the night sky.

Arrange a visit to the Observatory

If you wish to arrange a visit to the observatory, please email our Head of Astronomy, Mr Linton Guise, at observatory@bedfordschool.org.uk. We recommend that you read our Guide for Observatory Visits before your visit.

Guide to Observatory Visits

Astronomy Courses

The school also runs a series of short courses in astronomy at the observatory and planetarium.
Find Out More

Useful Links

Bedford Astronomical Society (serving Bedfordshire since 1987)
Describes the organisation, forthcoming events and its history. Includes photo gallery, sky diary and links to other astronomical organisations.
Stellarium is a planetarium software that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars. It's easy to use, and free.
BBC Weather Forecast for Bedford

The Quarry Theatre

The stunning Quarry Theatre at St. Luke's, which opened in 2015, includes a beautiful 286-seat auditorium as well as an all-purpose studio.

The Quarry Theatre is both a theatre for the school and the town; offering both our own in-house school productions as well as the best in touring theatre, comedy, dance and live music.

Theatre Features

  • A 286-seat galleried courtyard theatre
  • Light and airy foyer area for teaching and art exhibitions
  • Box office and modern staff offices
  • Large rehearsal and teaching studio
  • State of the art sound, lighting and studio systems
  • Foyer bar that opens out onto landscaped gardens

Visit the Theatre Website