Ancestry UK

New Farningham House, Elmstead Woods, Chislehurst, Kent

In 1969, the National Children's Home (NCH) opened a new branch at New Farningham House, Wood Drive, Chislehurst. The development, sited in what was effectively a clearing in Elmstead Wood, comprised three family-group houses each accommodating fifteen children.

The name of the home acknowledged that its construction was funded by the Farningham House Trust, which held the residual assets of the Farningham and Swanley Homes for Little Boys. In 1964, when the organisation was being wound up, the trustees donated the proceeds from the sale of the land and buildings, and also the records, to the NCH.

The layout of the home is shown on the 1972 map below.

New Farningham House site, Chislehurst, c.1972.

None of the home's buildings survives and the site is now occupied by the Duggan Drive housing development.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home). Can provide access to their own records for individuals who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Help also for those searching for family history information.


  • Bradfield, William The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913, Kelly)
  • Curnock, Nehemiah The Story of the Children's Home (C.H. Kelly, 1901)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Horner, Francis Shadow and Sun (Epworth Press, 1920)
  • Howard, Philip J Philip: a Strange Child (Dalkeith Publishing, 2007)
  • Philpot, Terry Action For Children (Lion, 1994)
  • Walpole, Cecil F. Golden Links (Epworth Press, 1941)