In 1943, during a cricket match between the school and an army team, a fighter plane crashed in the field. Ten people were killed, including the pilot, and 15 were injured.
In 2004, a monk teaching at the school was arrested for taking pornographic photos of male students at Downside.
In 2012, a former Downside student came forward to say that a teacher at the school had abused him years ago when he studied there. It was found that the teacher in question had been caught abusing a child in 1987, but was allowed to go on teaching.
Two other teachers at the school were additionally investigated.