Reedham, Croydon

A suburb fathered by an orphanage, situated south-west of Purley

Hidden London: former Reedham orphanage lodge
The Lodge is all that remains of Reedham orphanage

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.

Postcode area: Purley, CR8
Station: Southern (zone 6)
Further reading: HE Rolph, The Home on the Hill: The Story of Reedham, Reedham Old Scholars Association, 1981
Website: The Reedham Children’s Trust