Nearly 700 babies and children with staff walked from Shenfield station up the hill to their nearly completed new homes on a freezing February day in 1907. The site was like a small town with separate houses for boys and girls, a school, laundry, kitchens, infirmary, swimming pool, dining hall, a small farm with stables, orchards and even a shoe menders. The final cost was £184,280, which was considered outrageous at the time.
Hutton Poplars Hall, Poplar Drive, Hutton CM13 1YU
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Thanks to Three Flowers Photography www.threeflowersphotography.co.uk & Pandora Images
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Opened in 1906, Hutton Poplars Hall was a Residential Home for destitute children from the district of Poplar in the east end of London. Like much of London during the Victorian era the Borough of Poplar faced high poverty levels. The chairman of the Board of Guardians for the region, George Lansbury, Grandfather of Actress Angela Lansbury, campaigned for the Home to be built in Hutton. The cost of the project caused uproar in the Houses of Parliament when it first opened. However once operational, the project received recognition for its good work rating the facilities as "among the best in Britain" Queen Mary visited Hutton Poplars in 1918. The Home eventually closed in 1982 and the Hall was restored by Brentwood Borough Council in 1991.