Ancestry UK

Forest Hill Boys' Industrial Home, Forest Hill, London

Forest Hill Boys' Industrial Home was established in 1873 at 17 Rojack Road, Forest Hill, in south-east London. An Industrial Home for Girls run by the same committee, was opened in 1881 in the adjoining house at 16 Rojack Road. (16-17 Rojack Road was also sometimes referred to as 3-4 Maybury Cottages.) The stated object of the Homes was 'to reclaim destitute boys and girls, and train them to earn an honest livelihood.'

In 1881, the Boys' Home had a total of 21 boys in residence, under the charge of the master and matron, Simeon and Ruth Lyford. One of the inmates had the unusual name of Julias Cesar Borgia.

Forest Hill Boys' Industrial Home, Rojack Road. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1884, the boys moved to purpose-built premises at 67 Perry Rise, Forest Hill. The new building, designed by Thomas Aldwinckle, cost £1,800 and was opened on May 10th, 1884, by the Lord Mayor of London. It was named Shaftesbury House in honour of the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Home's patron.

Forest Hill Boys' Industrial Home, Perry Rise. © Peter Higginbotham

Boys were received into the Home between the ages of 7 and 10 years. Destitute cases were admitted free, others on payment according to means. The Home's inmates were taught bootmaking. They left at the age of 13 to 14, according to their standard of education.

Shaftesbury House is thought to have continued in operation until the Second World War. After the War, the building was converted for use as a day nursery and clinic.

Shaftesbury House was demolished in 2000. The Rojack Road premises still survive, now in private residential use.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.



  • None identified at present.