Ancestry UK

Home for Motherless Children, Heybridge Basin, near Maldon, Essex

The Homes for Motherless Children (HMC) organisation was set up in 1896 by the evangelist Robert Thomson Smith, who had founded the Chiswick Mission in 1880. The HMC's first homes were in Chiswick but subsequent ones were established further afield. These included two properties — Sunnyside on Harfred Avenue, and Lock House — at Heybridge Basin, near Maldon.

Originally intended as holiday homes for delicate children, the premises became permanent homes for overflow children from Chiswick.

When the HMC's new Victoria Lodge home at Hounslow opened in around 1905, the children at the Heybridge Basin Homes were transferred there.

Both the Heyford Basin properties still exist.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.


  • Jeffs, Ernest Motherless. The story of Robert Thomson Smith and the first homes for motherless children. (1930, Marshall, Morgan and Scott.)
  • None identified at present.