Dutch Almshouses

and Convalescent Home

165 Charlton Church Lane, Charlton, SE7 8UH


In 1866 the Dutch Church in Austin Friars sold the site of its almshouses in Bishopsgate for £7,000 to the London and North Western Railway. A plot of land in Old Charlton, Kent, was then purchased in order to build replacement almshouses.

The new buildings opened in 1868. They contained accommodation for eight families, each with three rooms.

Twenty years later a Convalescent Home was added to the site, just to the south of the almshouses. It was formally opened in July 1866 by the Countess Van Bylandt, accompanied by her husband Count Van Bylandt, the Dutch envoy to London.

The Convalescent Home was intended for the children of poor Dutch parents and Dutch women. During the summer months children could be sent there for two weeks free of charge.

By 1886 none of the inhabitants of the almshouses, all descended from Dutch immigrants, could speak a word of the language.

In 1922 the residents consisted of six married couples and 10 single people.

In 1939, in anticipation of the outbreak of war, the residents of the almshouses were evacuated, on account of the building's exposed situation.

The almshouses and convalescent home closed in the 1960s and had been demolished by the early 1970s.


Current status

An apartment block complex was built on the site during the 1970s. Named Fred Styles House, it provided sheltered accommodation in 42 studio apartments. The complex was accessed from Fletching Road, with only a pedestrian gateway connecting it to Charlton Church Lane.

Fred Styles House closed in October 2013 and has now been demolished. It is currently being replaced
(2021) by  Duke Court - a social housing complex.

N.B. Photographs obtained in August 2013

Dutch Almshouses

The northern blocks of Fred Styles House.

Dutch Almshouses

The southern end of the complex was next to St Luke's Church.

References (Accessed 24th July 2021)
(Author unstated) 1886 Dutch almshouses at Charlton. The Times, 10th July, p. 8
Baddeley JJ 1922 Cripplegate Ward. London, Hodder & Stoughton, p. 233
Burdett HC 1899 Burdett's Hospitals and Charities. London, The Scientific Press.
Lindeboom J 2013 Austin Friars. History of the Dutch Reformed Church in London 1550-1950. Berlin, Springer. (1) (2)

Last updated 24th July 2021

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