“The Asylum for Fatherless Children” was founded in 1844 by Rev. Andrew Reed, an English Congregational minister and hymn writer, who became a prominent philanthropist and social reformer.

Rev Reed became a congregational minister in the East End and a hymn writer. He was, like many of the Victorian philanthropists, very forward thinking and was known as a kindly, caring man who believed in equality for all.

In 1844 he opened the Asylum for Fatherless Children in temporary accommodation in Richmond. Construction of The Reedham Orphanage was finished in 1858 and all the children from the Asylum for Fatherless Children moved there. To enable transportation to the orphanage [then out in the countryside – to benefit the children] a railway station was also built and the area became known as Reedham.

In 1950 the orphanage became a school and continued until its closure in January 1980. The building was demolished and the land sold to fund what is now the Reedham Children’s Trust. The Trust is actually housed in the original entrance lodge to the orphanage.


Source: Image reproduced from “Village Histories 1. Purley”, with the kind permission of The Bourne Society.