Ancestry UK

Shaftesbury Homes' Adolescent Hostels, London

In 1972, the Shaftesbury Homes commissioned a major strategic review of its possible future directions. One of the resulting recommendations was that the Society should open one or more hostels for homeless school leavers, run along family-style lines. This proposal was put into action and several of these 'Adolescent Hostels' were subsequently established. Their opening was made possible by the sale in 1974 of the Society's large Fortescue House property in Twickenham.

The first of the new hostels was opened in 1973 at 24 Dealtry Road, Putney, with accommodation for ten boys in their late teens under the supervision of a small residential staff. The neighbouring house at 26 Dealtry Road was subsequently acquired for use as a 'progress' hostel and fitted out as self-contained flatlets for those able to live independently.

26 Dealtry Road closed and sold in 1990 and replaced by the Southfields Adolescent Hostel at 213 Wimbledon Park Road, SW18.

24 Dealtry Road was closed in 1995 and replaced the following year by The Roehampton Arabella House in Roehampton.

In 1975, Esher House at Arnison Road, East Molesey, became a supported hostel for vulnerable, young, single mothers with their babies.


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.


  • Bailey, Marion Chance of a Lifetime - the Story of the Shaftesbury Homes and Arethusa (1996, Dianthus Publishing)
  • Cuthbert, V Where Dreams Come True: A Record of 95 Years (1937, London: Shaftesbury Homes and "Arethusa" Training Ship)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Hodder, Edwin The Life and Work of the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G. (1886, Cassell)