South Croydon
Convalescent Home for Children
  254 Brighton Road, Croydon CR2 6AH
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1880 - 1914

A small convalescent home for children opened in Chelsham Road, South Croydon, on 6th July 1880.  It had been established by Mrs Harriet Sturt to provide nursing care for middle-class children recovering from operation or illness (general hospitals at this time did not provide such long-term care).  A subscription of 1 guinea (£1.05) enabled a child to stay at the home for three weeks.  Less wealthy parents could pay 2 shillings (10p) a week.

In the first year 71 children had been received.  However, the home's total income of £644 - some £150 4s 0d (£150.20) from subscriptions, £312 from donations and £130 from fund-raising schemes  - proved inadequate for its estimated running costs.

It soon became clear that larger premises were needed and Mrs Sturt devoted the next ten years to raising funds to built a new convalescent home.

In 1889 a piece of land in Brighton Road, South Croydon, was purchased and building work began.

The South Croydon Convalescent Home for Children was officially opened on 5th November 1890 by Lady Beatrix Herbert, the wife of Sydney Herbert, M.P.

The Home had 20 beds in light, airy wards.  Dr William Thomas Dempster, of No. 94 Brighton Road, was its medical officer.  Helen Lillyman, who had run the home in Chelsham Road, was appointed Matron.

At the outbreak of WW1 in 1914 the Home was requisitioned for use as an auxiliary military hospital.  It became the South Croydon Relief Hospital, with Dr Dempster remaining as the medical offficer.  From 22nd November 1915 until it closed on 20th December 1918, it was affiliated to the Horton (County of London) War Hospital.

 Present status (September 2013)

The street has been renumbered and the premises are now the South Croydon Business Centre in Progress House at 404 Brighton Road.

The windows have been replaced, but the building remains essentially the same (above and below).


The building still bears a stone plaque with the name of the Convalescent Home.

References (Accessed 19th September 2013)

Personal communication:  Mr Brian Roote, Croydon, to whom grateful acknowledgement is given for supplying much of the history of this building.

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