Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy

Bust of John Passmore Edwards

Some of the buildings funded by others

Dreamer House
Greene House
Recreation Hall
Penn House
Hampshire House


Whilst Passmore Edwards was the single largest benefactor to the original Chalfont Colony the Society's archives are rich in names of the many that gave of their money or services to the Society at this time. From the £500 from the Duke of Westminster, plus a subscription of £100 for 5 years, and the £500 given by John Lewis Roget, son of Dr Peter Mark Roget, compiler of the Thesaurus, to the £10 provided by a Mrs Farmar, member of the Council to buy the first apple and pear trees to be planted in the new orchards at the Colony, the list is as long. The London Guilds, the Goldsmiths, the Skinners, the Vinters and the Cordwainers, also contributed.
This website deals mainly with the contribution made by Passmore Edwards to the work of the Society and in particular the houses funded by him. Several other houses and many other buildings have been erected at Chalfont including:-
The Dearmer House
In December 1892 Mrs Caroline Dearmer, who had lost a son of 18 to epilepsy offered to provide a cottage for young epileptic men suffering from temporary mania. Not only was she to donate £1000 for the home but she would give £250 a year to maintain the building and support the patients. She also intended to leave £700 to the Society for the general benefit of male epileptics. She agreed to extend her patronage to all classes of epileptic men and women who needed special care and in 1896 Maurice Adams produced a design for a single storey bungalow. Dearmer House was built at a cost of £1182.
Greene House
In July 1896 Frederick Greene, a wealthy businessman from Surrey offered the Society £2000 for a honme for men. Designed by Maurice Adams to accommodate 24 men Greene House was built at a final cost of £2348 and opened on July 23 1899. Both Mr and Mrs Greene went on to support the Society throughout their life and afterwards by means of a £5000 legacy.

The Recreation Hall
In 1896, a Mrs Cash offered the sum of £200 to provide a small hall on condition that it was completed within 6 months. The Recreation Hall, which cost £182 and could seat 100, was constructed of corrugated iron on metal frames. Mrs Cash opened the hall on 19 December 1896 and it was to remain in regular use for shows, lectures and church services until 1958.
Penn House
In March 1913 the Society mortgaged Skippings Farm to finance the building of another home for 30 women. Designed by Cecil Sharpe work on the home started before the outbreak of war in August 1914 and was completed at a cost of £3295 the next spring. The Society chose the name Penn House as a compliment to Mr Penn Gaskell, the Society's first full time secretary and who remained a life time supporter, and in honour of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania.
Hampshire House
John Martineau, another long time supporter of the Society and its work offered anonymously, to provide a home which gave priority to patients from Southampton. In 1902 arrangements were made with the Southampton authorities to maintain such patients and work commenced on a home for 24 women. Hampshire House was designed by Charles Grieve and opened at the beginning of 1904.
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The Society today
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photos of Chalfont
Acknowledgement of contributions and  copyright
© Dean Evans 2003
August 10, 2006
Home page
Passmore Edwards buildings in Cornwall and Devon
Libraries and Art Galleries in London and South Eastern Counties
Hospitals and Homes in London and South Eastern Counties
Miscellaneous gifts and donations
Passmore Edward's autobiography " A Few Footprints"