Ancestry UK

Westcroft, Sheringham, Norfolk

Westcroft, at 15-17 Hooks Hill Road, Sheringham, was opened by the National Children's Home (NCH) in 1917. The property had been donated to the charity by William Garrood. The neighbouring house was also donated in 1918. The two properties were combined and extended, with a former stable being turned into a chapel. By 1920, the home could accommodate 50 boys and girls. In its early years, it primarily catered for the orphans of soldiers and sailors but this was eventually broadened to provide for any orphan or destitute child. The initial and long-serving matron of the home was Sister Gertrude Gee.

The location and layout of the home is shown on the 1928 map below.

Sheringham home site, c.1928.

Sheringham NCH home — aerial view from the north-west © Peter Higginbotham

Sheringham NCH home — children and staff, date unknown. © Peter Higginbotham

Sheringham NCH home - 15 Hooks Hill Road, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Sheringham NCH home - 15 Hooks Hill Road, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Sheringham NCH home - 17 Hooks Hill Road, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Sheringham NCH home - 17 Hooks Hill Road, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Sheringham NCH home - 17 Hooks Hill Road, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

The Sheringham home closed in around 1974. In more recent times, 15 Hooks Hill Drive has been used as a holiday centre for children and adults with a wide range of disabilities, while number 17 housed a residential family assessment unit.

In 2013, the property was awaiting demolition, to be replaced by modern houses.


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)