16 Cathcart Hill


Dartmouth Park Hill 1870s        16 Cathcart hill 1880 – c.1896        15 Cathcart Hill 1896 – 1905 ?

Stella House Collegiate. Announcement of move to 16 Cathcart Hill. Nonconformist and Independent Newspaper, 20 May 1880

Originally founded by Jane Furnace and situated on Dartmouth Park Hill, Stella House Collegiate School  relocated  to 16 Cathcart Hill in the autumn of 1880 under it’s new head, Elizabeth Steed Sutton. Born in Deal in Kent, Elizabeth’s family had moved to London in the 1850′s. On the 1871 Census, Elizabeth was listed as “governess” and still living with her parents at No.2 Pemberton Terrace. But in 1876,  following the marriage of Jane Furnace to a Mr Calvert of Belper, Elizabeth succeeded as the principal of  Stella House. Electoral Roll Records indicate that, after almost 15 years at 16 Cathcart Hill, Elizabeth Sutton moved next door to No.15 f0r a couple of years, almost certainly taking the school with her. For on the 1901 Census though Miss Sutton had retired and was now living in Hornsey, No.15 was  occupied by  Mrs Cecelia Catherine Porter – schoolmistress, with her husband and children, 3 governesses, 4 boarding pupils, a cook and servant.



CATHCART COLLEGE       16 Cathcart Hill 1896 - c. 1914

No.16 Cathcart Hill’s days as an educational establishment were not over however; in 1896 No.16 opened its doors to a fresh set of students. Founded by Alfred Preece Lye, M.A. in 1896 Cathcart College was a new private school for boys.  For the previous 11 years (1885 – 96) Alfred had been a teacher and deputy head at Kentish Town High School for Boys on Fortess Road, during which time he had married  a Sarah Jane Robinson. Alfred and Sarah went on to have three boys, Reginald Thomas and twins Percival Alfred and George Herbert. But in 1914 after 18 years residence at 16 Cathcart Hill, Alfred Preece Lye and his family moved to Hounslow following his appointment as the new headmaster of Hounslow Commercial College.  With A. P. Lye’s departure Cathcart College had rung its school bell for the last time.


HELPING HAND HOME          59 Caversham Road, Kentish Town 1908- 1914      16 Cathcart Hill 1914  - 1940.

Helping Hand Home. Listing in- Feeblemindedness in Children of School Age by C. Paget Lapage. Manchester Uni. Press, 1911

from Feeblemindedness in Children of School Age by C. Paget Lapage. Manchester Uni. Press, 1911. Note the ten shillings weekly rate for the residential care of a girl

In its third and final incarnation as a place of learning No.16 was to become the new location for this institution. Founded in 1908 and originally located at 59 Caversham Road in Kentish Town, the Helping Hand Home was a residential establishment for the care and education of  ”high grade mentally deficient females”. In 1914 it was relocated to 16 Cathcart Hill, the largest house in the street  (18 rooms according to the 1911 Census) and had capacity for some 30 girls aged  mostly 16 years and over. The matron at the time of the relocation was Miss Julia Ellen Cosby and her successor soon after was Miss S. F. Griffith.

“The Helping-Hand HomeHighgate. — The purpose of this small Establishment is the training of feeble-minded girls for domestic service and laundry work, in order that, in some measure, they may be able to earn their own living. Although they have only now obtained a certificate under the Mental Deficiency Act, the “Association for Helping Mentally Deficient Children” (the responsible Managers) have conducted an Institution to further these objects for many years past. The certificate, granted to this body in March, enables them to receive 25 girls who are feeble-minded and between the ages of 14 and 20 years. The Home was full and working successfully at the close of the year.” (Papers by Command, 1918. vol. 16, page 43, House of Commons)

Honorable Secretary: Mrs Beryl Russell, J.P.  (as listed in The Catholic Who’s Who and Year Book, Vol. 34, 1924)

The Helping Hand Home was closed in 1940 when the house was requisitioned for Government use. It is probable that it relocated to 44 Watford Road, Radlett where a care home by that name is featured in directories for the following  three years. 

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