Ancestry UK

Mittendorff House, Epsom, Surrey

In 1896, Barnardo's were given a property known as Clayton House at 18 East Street, Epsom. The donor was Miss Dorette Mittendorff who had previously used the building to house the training home for destitute and deserted girls that she had founded in 1868 at Kilburn.

Renamed Mittendorff House, Barnardo's re-opened the property as a "change-home" — a temporary residence for up to a hundred boys in transition between other Barnardo homes, or prior to their emigration to Canada. The boys attended the local school on Hook Road. From 1922 onwards, many of the boys went on to receive training at the William Baker Technical School.

The location of the home is shown on the 1934 map below.

Epsom Home site, Epsom, c.1934.

Mittendorff House, Epsom, date unknown. © Peter Higginbotham

Mittendorff House, Epsom, c.1909. © Peter Higginbotham

The property reverted to its original name of Clayton House in 1918. The home closed in 1937 and the building had been demolished by 1950. The site is now occupied by a Royal Mail sorting office.


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.


  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)