Farningham Home for Boys Desk Background

Welcome to the Farningham home for boys Association

The idea of a ‘Home for Little Boys’ was conceived in 1864 in a disused parish poor house in the suburban village of Tottenham, north of London.

The founders were Mr. W.H. Williams, Mr. Robert Culling Hanbury (MP for Middlesex) and Mr. A.D. Charles. After a short time, overcrowding became a problem and so the benefactors looked to creating a larger home away from the busy metropolis. A site was acquired at the top of the hill in Kent (South Down). The home was renamed after another local village, ‘Farningham’. The new home for boys became larger over a number of years, took in boys of all ages and created craft houses for boys to be given the opportunity to take up an apprenticeship in one of the six trades. There were up to 200 boys housed at any one time, from infants to teenagers. The home was to flourish for many years until economic reasons and a change in attitudes nationally regarding child welfare forced its closure I961. The site is now occupied by a retirement home, ‘Southdowns’, and some of the original buildings still exist today.

A more complete history of the homes can be viewed at our old boys corner in the chapel at Southdowns on Old Boys Day, or by appointment with the management.

Farningham Home for boys photos