Portal Home for Ladies

Tonge House, Royal Circus, West Norwood, SE27 0BL


In 1929 Miss Bertha Mary Portal (1853-1929) bequeathed her family home - Tonge House - to a charity to be run by local trustees in order that it could become a 'Home for Ladies'. It was intended that this would provide accommodation for local "poor spinsters, widows or divorced ladies who are of the Christian faith".

The house, which was located on the outer rim of Royal Circus on the north side of York Hill, was demolished in 1936 and the current almshouses built in its stead in the centre of the Royal Circus itself. They contain seven 1-bedroomed self-contained dwellings. The residents share the large gardens.

Tonge House remains a home for the elderly.


Current status

In November 2017 Harrison Housing took over management of the almshouses, following the retirement of the live-in caretaker.

 N.B. Photographs obtained in July 2020

Tonge House

Tonge House and its gardens occupy the centre of a large circus.

Tonge House Tonhe House

The building is almost entirely hidden behind a surrounding wooden fence, some 6 ft (1.8 metres) high. The garden contains many mature trees.

Tonge House

Signage on the fence to Tonge House.

Tonge House

The entrance drive of Tonge House is on the northwest side of Royal Circus, near Portal Close, named after the family who were great benefactors to Norwood.

References (Accessed 30th July 2020)

Last updated 30th July 2020

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