In 1997 The Friends’ School closed its doors and the large complex of buildings were converted into apartments. It had dominated Great Ayton High Green and had been an important part of village life since 1841 when it was established by Quakers as the North of England Agricultural School “to cater for the children of Friends who had married out of the Society and were hence barred from the existing Friends’ Schools.”
One of the first orienteering events I entered when I moved to North Yorkshire in around 1974 was around the grounds of the Friends’ School. In the dark (it was a night event) with a black and white map, on which I distinctly recall a field annotated “Beware of the bull”. It must have been in the Autumn as I also remember the nettles. I was reminded about this when I happened to come across a report in the November 1966 edition of The Climber magazine that The Friends’ School had won the Yorkshire Exploring Society Orienteering Championships in that year.
I wonder if those pupils of 1966 still take part in the sport?