Ancestry UK

Laleham Orphanage, Streatham / Balham, Surrey

In 1875, Miss Hannah Pipe set up the Laleham Orphanage at 6 Streatham Place, Streatham. The home initially accommodated seven girls superintended by a matron who taught them the domestic skills of house-cleaning, cooking, waiting at table, laundry-work and needlework.

In 1878, the home moved to larger premises at 62 Rossiter Road, Balham, where sixteen girls could be housed. The property also allowed two school-rooms to be provided.

Miss Pipe had long wanted to transfer her orphanage to the healthy countryside at Limpsfield in Surrey, but had problems in finding a suitable property. The home made a temporary move to Oxted between 1895 and 1898 but then returned to Rossiter Road where in 1901 there were thirteen girls in residence, under the care of the matron, Mary Dark.

Miss Pipe died in 1906. Three years later, a property in Oxted owned by Miss Pipe and used by her as a convalescent home was passed to the National Children's Home (NCH). The NCH took over the Laleham Orphanage in Balham and transferred it to the Oxted premises, which became known as its Laleham Home.

Neither of the Streatham and Balham properties survives.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home). Can provide access to their own records for individuals who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Help also for those searching for family history information.


  • Bradfield, William The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913, Kelly)
  • Curnock, Nehemiah The Story of the Children's Home (C.H. Kelly, 1901)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Horner, Francis Shadow and Sun (Epworth Press, 1920)
  • Howard, Philip J Philip: a Strange Child (Dalkeith Publishing, 2007)
  • Philpot, Terry Action For Children (Lion, 1994)
  • Walpole, Cecil F. Golden Links (Epworth Press, 1941)