A City Set on a Hill: Memories of the Author’s Childhood spent at the Farningham Homes for Little Boys in Kent


In 1863, three good men; W. H. Willans, Robert Culling Hanbury, MP, and A. O. Charles decided to found the Homes for Little Boys as an alternative to the large orphanages and institutions then in existence. Housing infants to young men, together with Housemothers and Male Staff, and as well as dwellings; containing a school, a church, a hospital and workshops where older boys could take up an apprenticeship. Add to this a farm, bakery and laundry, and it was well on the way to being self-sufficient. Definitely a community and it certainly stood on a very high hill for all to see.

Now, after thirty years or more since its closure, I felt I wanted to put my own thoughts on paper before it was too late, and this wonderful work, spanning nearly 100 years was forgotten.


Patrick E. Roast