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Rudolf Memorial and Special School for Girls, Dulwich

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Rudolf Memorial and Special School for Girls, Dulwich

Dulwich, London

(1938 - 1939)

After Edward Rudolf's death, two Homes were opened in his memory. They became the Rudolf Memorial Home for Girls, Dulwich; and the Rudolf Memorial Home, Balham, London which housed boys. The Homes were designed for 'those who, while not mentally defective, have serious psychological troubles, due, it may be, to ill-health, cruelty, neglect, or fear which are likely to cause problems in later life if not addressed', or for those with educational problems.

The Girls' Home was built on the site of the Lampson Home for Girls, Overhill Road, Dulwich, London. The previous residents had moved to Shipton Under Wychwood in 1935. The decision to use this site and to replace the Lampson Home for Girls with a new building was taken as the old buildings 'were not at all convenient and were getting delapidated; secondly, the site was high up and healthy; and, thirdly, it was closely connected with the Founder'. This last element is a reference to the first Home, then named the Dulwich Home for Girls, which had opened in Dulwich in 1882 on a different site. This Home had moved to 62 Overhill Road in 1883.

Paul Phipps, Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA), prepared the plans. In 1937 the proposed building was described to supporters as: 'Built of carefully chosen brick, it will present a long frontage to the road, planned to get the maximum amount of sun through its wide windows, and its elevation shows a happy combination of the traditional and the modern'. It was named Lampson House in recognition of the the Dowager Lady Lampson whose donation in 1887 allowed the originally building and site to be purchased. The memorial inscription above the entrance, 'In Thankful Memory of Edward de Montjoie Rudolf,' was unveiled on 12 November 1937 by Lord Horder with a service being conducted by the Bishop of Southwark.

Work on the new building began in 1937 and the Home was officially opened by the Duchess of Gloucester in 1938. The Home, like the Rudolf Memorial Boy's Home which opened in 1935, treated and cared for children with 'pyschological and educational difficulties'. Admissions to the Home were gradual in order to enable each new arrival to settle into their surroundings properly.

In 1939 residents were evacuated to the Rudolf Memorial Home for Girls, Banstead and later, in 1943, to the Rudolf Memorial Home, Farnham. Lampson House was requisitioned for civil defence use in 1939.

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