A suburb fathered by an orphanage, situated south-west of Purley
Trained as a watchmaker and clock repairer, Andrew Reed chose instead to become a Congregationalist minister. He founded a children’s home that soon outgrew its lodgings in Richmond and Stamford Hill and raised funds to buy a new site in the Surrey hills.
The Asylum for Fatherless Children opened in 1858, with a capacity of 300. Reed died four years later, aged 75, and the asylum’s name was changed to Reedham in his honour. When the station opened in 1911 it also took the name Reedham, as did the village that grew up nearby.
Declining attendance and increasing debts forced the governors to close the home in 1980. In order to pay off the debts and set up a charitable trust, the site was sold for a privately built housing development.
Based at the Lodge, the orphanage’s only surviving building, the Reedham Children’s Trust sponsors boarding school education for children with difficult home circumstances.