Nazareth House, Hammersmith, London

Nazareth House, on what was then King Street East (now 171-175 Hammersmith Road), London SW6, was opened in 1857 as the first permanent base for the Sisters of Nazareth who had arrived in England six years earlier to establish a home for the elderly poor.

As well accommodating the elderly, Nazareth House was soon providing a home for orphan, destitute and 'incurable' children. An 1874 report on the establishment noted that:

The good Christian women engaged in this work of benevolent piety, to which they devote all their time and labour, as well as their private fortunes and social influence, are worthy of sincere reject and hearty good wishes. There are more than 300 inmates of the House of Nazareth; a score of old men, none under seventy-three years of age, and about a hundred old women, employed in such work as they can do for their own comfort; about fifty children, who are cripples or incurably diseased; and a certain number of babes, like those reared in the Foundling Hospital, the illegitimate offspring of repentant erring mothers. The whole establishment is under strict though cheerful discipline and regulation, with the superintendence of highly respectable clergymen. There are no hired menials ; but the Lady Sisters, who call themselves "The Little Sisters of the Poor," do all the drudgery of the household, besides going daily round that part of town to beg alms for its support.

Nazareth House, Hammersmith site, c.1897.

Nazareth House from the north-east, Hammersmith, 2018. © Peter Higginbotham

Nazareth House from the gardens, Hammersmith, c.1900. © Peter Higginbotham

By 1891, there were sixty nuns in residence, providing care for 250 children and around 230 elderly people. The children taken in were primarily girls although a few young boys were also accommodated.

Classroom at Nazareth House, Hammersmith, c.1889. © Peter Higginbotham

Workroom at Nazareth House, Hammersmith, c.1889. © Peter Higginbotham

Children's Infirmary at Nazareth House, Hammersmith, c.1889. © Peter Higginbotham

Old Women's Ward at Nazareth House, Hammersmith, c.1902. © Peter Higginbotham

"Unloading a cart at Nazareth House, Hammersmith, c.1902.. © Peter Higginbotham

Children were admitted from the age of one year upwards. No payment was required, except for an entrance fee to defray bedding expenses.

The Hammersmith Nazareth House is still in operation today. Although children have not been accommodated since the 1970s, the establishment still provides care for the elderly.

Records

Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals.

  • Sisters of Nazareth Archive, Sisters of Nazareth Archive, Nazareth House, 169-175 Hammersmith Road, London W6 8DB. The archivist is Christine Hughes. The archive contains material from the very beginnings of the order in the 1850s up until the present day. The archive is not open to the public and does not have facilities for personal searchers, although exceptions can be made for Sisters and for academic researchers. Enquiries are welcomed by post only for privacy and confidentiality reasons and replies are by also letter. There is no fee for dealing with enquiries, although donations to the Sisters are appreciated.

Census

Bibliography