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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 and the site was sold to pay off debts and set up the Reedham Trust. Based at the Lodge, the only remaining building, the trust sponsors boarding school education for children with difficult home circumstances.

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The Lodge is all that remains of the splendid set of buildings that made up Reedham orphanage

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 Trust

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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