National Children's Home - Harpenden cemetery

A secluded corner on the edge of Harpenden

North west corner of Highfield Cemetery. Credit: Rosemary Ross, January 2013

On the north-west corner of the Highfield Oval site, sheltered from the west and north by Westfield Woods, lies the peaceful small cemetery, disturbed only by trains passing on the St Pancras to Bedford/East Midlands line.

The graves of children who died while in care at the Oval, and for Sisters who cared for them, are set out close to the hedges which surround the site. There is brief mention of the cemetery on the NHC history website, but not of when it was established. Occasional burials still take place, and the cemetery is visited and well cared for.

The work of the National Children’s Home continues as Action for Children: Detailed history of the NCH, its branches, staff and children can be found at:

and a Facebook page can help put in in touch.

Dr Kelynack was physician to Highfield Oval and Elmfield Sanatorium. Credit: Rosemary Ross, January 2013


Credit: Rosemary Ross, January 2013

Credit: Rosemary Ross, January 2013

Comments about this page

  • I lived at NCH Harpenden from 1938 -1946 and can remember only one boy dying and being buried in the cemetery during that time. He was in Clifton House, B4 as it was known and marked on our clothing together with our in individual number, mine was B4 14. I would be interested to hear from any of my contemporaries.

    By George A. Lee (09/02/2014)

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