Babies Hospital

41 Sydenham Hill, Dulwich, SE26 6TH

Medical dates:

Medical character:

1949 - 1961


Beltwood House was built in 1855 by a London solicitor, Edward Saxton, who lived there until his death at the age of 97 in 1911.  The three-storey mansion, with 50 rooms and three and a half acres of grounds, thickly wooded with mature trees and shrubs, remained a private residence until after WW2.  Its amenities included a gatekeeper's lodge, mews courtyard cottages, stables and a stable apartment, a tennis court and a croquet lawn.

In 1949 the house became the Sydenham Invalid Babies Nursery.

By 1954 it had 35 beds and was known as the Babies Hospital.

It closed in 1961 and Beltwood House became a YWCA hostel.  

Present status (September 2008)

The neo-classical style building, listed as Grade II in 1993, is still there presumably, but is well screened by trees.  The gateway and Lodge look very neglected.

The difficult American owner failed to gain permission to use the premises as a nightclub and returned to New York in 2007, leaving behind a menagerie of 64 dogs, 7 horses and 2 peacocks.  The house was repossessed by the bank.

It is proposed to demolish some of the outbuildings and replace them with eight 2-storey, 3-bedroom houses.  The main building would be converted into three apartments.


The gateway looks rather neglected.

signage on gateway

Signage on the gatepost.

lodge building

The Lodge building can be seen to the left of the gate.



Return to alphabetical list
Return to home page