Winifred House Convalescent Hospital, Arkley, Barnet


This was established by the Invalid Children's Aid Association (see below) and was also known as the Winifred House Invalid Children's Convalescent Home and Mrs Hampson's Memorial Home.


It was opened in 1891 in Wray Crecent Tollington Park for poor children.


Children, many of whom had TB, osteomyelitis or asthma, would stay for as long as three years.


In 1938, the home moved to new purpose-built premises.


Coombe was originally a large family house built by Jophn Horniman of the Horniman Tea Company, at one time the largest tea company in the world. 


The home closed as a convalescent home in 1971 but continued to take children with disabilities.



The Invalid Children's Aid Association (ICAA) was founded on 26 November 1888, by Allen Dowdeswell Graham, a clergyman, to help poor children who were either seriously ill or handicapped. In 1888, he wrote 'Poverty is bad enough, God knows, but the poor handicapped exist in a living hell. It's up to us to do something about it'. Allen Graham organised a group of home visit volunteers who took food, bedding and medicine to children and their families, and helped arrange admissions into hospitals and convalescent homes, holidays, apprenticeships, and the loan of spinal carriages, wheel chairs and perambulators. Royal patronage began in 1891 and continued throughout the 20th century.


As the Association grew, volunteers were gradually replaced by professional social workers and 'Homes of Recovery' were set up, where the treatment of children with tuberculosis and rheumatic heart disease was first pioneered. The first of these residential establishments was Holt Sanatorium opened in 1906 and Parkstone Home for boys was opened in 1909. 


During 1939 to 1945, the Association was involved in the special arrangements for the evacuation of physically handicapped children to homes or selected foster homes.


To explore other convalescent homes, have a look at our Directory



Some records are held by:

London Metropolitan Archives: City of London

And also The Wellcome Library 


There is more on this home on the Lost Hospital of London website