The History Part

The Babies Castle was officially opened on 9th August 1886 this institution was for the reception of babies. In 1908 Babies Castle became a mixed home for children under eight years of age. It was particularly used for babies and young children who, owing to their physical condition, were not suited for boarding out.

On the 21st September 1927 the new extension that had been built was officially opened another outstanding event of that year was the installation of a wireless set which was used for the first time on Christmas Day when the older children listened to the Children's Service.

The Nine No's Rules for the Orphanage was

1. No destitute child refused
2. No Race Barrier
3. No Creed Clause
4. No Physical Disability
5. No Age Limit
6. No Money Promise
7. No Voting
8. No Waiting
9. No Red Tape

Babies Castle closed, in 1965. It has now been re-named, appropriately enough, 'Hawkhurst Castle', after the nearby village of the same name and operates as a private nursing home for the elderly, under the direction of Kent County Council. The two houses which formed the original Babies Castle were, at a later date, to become the Matron's House. They were used as administrative offices for the nursing home next door.

The Pictures