Dr Barnardo's Memorial

The Memorial to Dr Barnado by George Frampton at Barkingside in the London Borough of Redbridge commemorates the founder of the Barnardo's children's charity. Born in Dublin into a Sephardic Jewish family, Thomas Barnado moved to the East End of London in 1866 where he established a chain of orphanages that developed into the Barnado's charity. He died in 1905 and, in a move unusual for the time, was cremated and his ashes interred in front of Cairn's House, the original building of his Barkingside children's village. In 1908, a memorial was raised on the site, the sculpture being undertaken by George Frampton, who worked without a fee. The memorial was designated a Grade II listed structure in 1979 and upgraded to II* in 2010.

Memorial to Dr Barnardo
ArtistGeorge Frampton
Completion date1908
SubjectThomas John Barnardo
Dimensions4.8 m (16 ft)
Coordinates51.586°N 0.0843°E / 51.586; 0.0843
Listed Building – Grade II*
Official nameDr Barnardo's Memorial at Barnardo's
Designated22 February 1979
Reference no.1081001

Dr Barnado

Thomas John Barnado was born in Dublin in 1845. Moving to London in 1866 to train as a doctor, he was profoundly affected by the child poverty he witnessed in the East End of London and, in 1867, opened his first ragged school.[1] By the late 1870s, Barnado, working with his wife Syrie, had established over 50 orphanages and schools for poor children in London, including his Girls' Village at Barkingside, in the London Borough of Redbridge.[2] The Barkingside development followed the concept of a 'village' environment, rather than an institutional approach, first established at children's homes at Farningham, Kent in 1865 and Princess Mary's Village Home for Little Girls at Addlestone, Surrey in 1870.[3] The Barkingside village was also originally the Barnados' home, which they received as a wedding present.[4] Barnado died in 1905[5] at his home in Surbiton and, following a funeral attended by very large crowds and a subsequent cremation, his ashes were interred at Barkingside.[6]

Architecture and description

The sculpture was undertaken by George Frampton, later famous for his statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens[7] and his memorial to W. S. Gilbert on the Victoria Embankment.[8] Frampton donated his design without charge.[9] The memorial forms an exedra, with a large, semi-circular, stone seat flanking the central plinth. The base has figures in bronze of three children, with a bust of Barnado above that, and culminates in a figure of a woman, representing Charity, embracing two further children.[10] The base is inscribed with a quotation from Barnado's will; 'I HOPE TO DIE AS I HAVE LIVED / IN THE HUMBLE BUT ASSURED FAITH OF / JESUS CHRIST / AS / MY SAVIOUR, MY MASTER AND MY KING'. The walls that form the seat are also inscribed, to the left; 'SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME / FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN'; and to the right; 'IN AS MUCH AS YE DID IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST / OF THESE MY BRETHREN YE DID IT UNTO ME'. A small memorial set in the base commemorates Syrie Barnado, who died in 1944.[10]

The memorial, described in Pevsner as "outstanding",[11] was unveiled in 1908 by the Duchess of Albany.[12] It was listed Grade II in 1979, and upgraded to Grade II* in 2010.[10]



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