Ancestry UK

The Haven Salvation Army Home for Girls, Ramsgate / London

The Haven was opened by the Salvation Army in 1908 at 2 Albert Road, Ramsgate. It was established as an extension of The Nest, the Army's home for abused girls in Hackney. It initially acted as a seaside holiday home for twenty girls and was known as the Nest II, the Nest (Ramsgate Branch), and Ramsgate Children's Home.

In around 1911, the home moved to larger premises at West Cliff Road, Ramsgate. The premises, adopting the name The Haven, could accommodate up to 35 girls, aged under 10 at their date of admission.

During the First and Second World Wars, the girls were temporarily evacuated to other premises. In December 1945, the home moved into a property known as Willoughby House at 42 Crystal Palace Park Road, Sydenham, which in 1948 adopted the name The Haven.

The Haven Salvation Army Home for Girls, Sydenham, date unknown. © Peter Higginbotham

In March 1968, the home began accommodating boys. From 1977 to 1982, it moved to the Army's premises at Sydenham Hill while the Crystal Palace Park Road building was demolished and rebuilt. The new accommodation, which was officially opened by the Duchess of Westminster in November 1982, could housed up to children in three units of ten places.

The Haven finally closed in 2012. Flats now occupy the site.


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  • Booth, William In Darkest England, and the Way Out (1890, London: International Headquarters of the Salvation Army)
  • Sandall, Robert The History of the Salvation Army (1955, London: Nelson)