Ancestry UK

Bruce-Porter Hospital Home, Folkestone, Kent

In 1920, Barnardo's took over a former convalescent home at 9 to 11 Wear Bay Crescent, Folkestone, and re-opened it as opened the Bruce-Porter Hospital Home. The cost was largely funded through the generosity of the long-serving Honorary Treasurer of Barnardo's, Howard Williams (son of Sir George Williams, founder of the YMCA movement). Williams refused to have the home bear his own name but insisted that it instead adopt that of his friend, the eminent surgeon Sir (Harry Edwin) Bruce Bruce-Porter.

The establishment, which provided treatment for diseases of the joints and bones, could accommodate up to 50 children up to the age of fifteen.

The location of the home is shown on the 1956 map below.

Bruce-Porter Hospital Home site, Folkestone, c.1956.

Bruce-Porter Hospital Home, Folkestone, 1930s. © Peter Higginbotham

During the Second World War, the home was evacuated first, in October 1939, to Dane Court in Dorset, then again, in September 1943 to Hollins Hall in West Yorkshire. After returning to its Folkestone premises, the Bruce Porter re-opened as a children's convalescent home in November, 1947.

On its closure in July 1966, the home's staff and children were moved to the Princess Margaret Home at Taunton in Somerset.

The Folkestone building has been demolished and a block of flats now occupies the site.


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.


  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)