Elmfield School

Illustrations from a talk by Judy Hamblin and Margaret Hewitt on 29 January 2013.

Judy Hamblin

Margaret Hewitt

Judy Hamblin and Margaret Hewitt both worked as house-mothers at Elmfield School from the 1970s, until it closed as a National Children’s Home specialist school for children with physical disablilities in the mid 1980s.

They gave an account of the school from its founding as a sanitorium in 1910, illustrated with photos from the NCH archives. They spoke of their own experiences, and of the staff who maintained high standards for the care of the classrooms, dormitories and long corridors, adapted for the needs of physically handicapped pupils. Their talk evoked memories for many in the audience who had worked there or known other members of staff. The pupils were drawn from far and wide, but some kept contact with the school after they left.

Since 1987 the premises have been the home of The King’s School, an independent Christian day school for pupils aged 5 to 16, with a pre-school on YWAM (Highfield) Oval. The outward appearance of the main building has been retained.

Comments about this page


    Is there no information about when Elmfield was a school for emotionally disturbed children, a lot of good was done with those children?

    Ed: we have asked the speakers who described their work at Elmfield, but they do not know what happened after they left. They suggest contacting Action for Children.

    By Heather Ward (26/06/2017)
  • I am wondering if the photos shown on these boards, still exist and if larger versions of each one, are, or can be made available for people to view on your website? I’m actually interested in the ones taken during the 1950s as that was when I was at Elmfield school. One does not need the original negatives as they can be re-photographed with any reasonably good digital camera, or scanned individually. 

    Ed. None of the photos on the display were original photos, but we have made individual photographic copies of those relating to the 1950s. Most of the other photos were taken from the Action for Children – NCH Harpenden/Elmfield Sanatorium pages on the internet.

    By Sam Chapman (04/09/2016)

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