Springwell House
Open Air School
 80 North Side, Clapham Common, SW4 9SD
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1919 - 1939

Open Air School
Springwell House, on the northern edge of Clapham Common, was built in 1819 for Roger Lee, a prosperous hop factor (the Borough High Street district of Southwark was the centre of London's hop trade).  Like several other houses nearby, it took its name from the wells nearby, which provided the water supply for Clapham village.

The house continued as a residence until 1913, when it was purchased by the LCC as a site for a future school.

At the outbreak of WW1 in 1914 the premises became the Battersea and Clapham War Hospital Supply Depot for local auxiliary hospitals.

After the war, the house became the site for one of a new wave of LCC open air schools for delicate or tuberculous children in London.  During its conversion to an open air school in 1919, a well was discovered in the front garden, justifying the house's name!

The Springwell House Open Air School reputedly became the largest of such schools for tuberculous children in the capital.  It operated until 1939 when, like most others, it closed on the outbreak of WW2.  The children were evacuated to Winnersh, near Reading.

Present status (July 2011)

After the end of the war in 1945 the house was retained in use for some time by the LCC as a school for physically handicapped children.

In 1972 its gardens were taken by the ILEA for the nearby Susan Isaacs School, which closed in August 1993 and was replaced by The Vines School, which closed in its turn in August 2007.

Since 1987 the building has accommodated the Parkgate House School, a co-educational preparatory school.

Springwell House
The Parkgate House School.  

The building and its coach house were Grade II listed in 1983.
Franklin G 2009 Inner-London Schools 1918-1944.  A Thematic Study.  Portsmouth, English Heritage.


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