Ancestry UK

Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum for Boys, Wandsworth Common, London

In 1854, during the Crimean War, Queen Victoria inaugurated a new charity known as the Royal Patriotic Fund. Its object was to collect donations 'on behalf of the widows and orphans of soldiers, sailors, and marines, that may fall in battle, or die from the ravages and casualties of war, during the present hostilities.' The management of the Fund was overseen by a Royal Commission, with Prince Albert at its head. Part of the money raised was used to establish the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum for Boys.

An Asylum for Girls, also financed by the Patriotic Fund, was opened in 1859 in purpose-built accommodation on Wandsworth Common. A corresponding building for the boys was rather slower in coming — an 1863 report refers to the 'Boys' Temporary Home'. Its permanent premises were opened in 1872 at the north end of Wandsworth Common, a little way to the north of the girls' establishment, and could house up to 200 inmates.

In 1881, it was decided to close the Asylum for Boys. This was apparently done in order to help the Fund's finances the level of whose outgoings were beginning to cause concern. The existing inmates were either found places at other institutions or sent to their friends with an allowance being paid. The site was sold off and acquired by the Governors of the United Westminster Endowed Schools. The property subsequently became home to the Emmanuel School which continues to occupy the premises to the present day.

Former Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum for Boys, Wandsworth Common


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.



  • None identified at present.