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our history

Our History

Known early on as 'The Heritage Craft Schools and Hospitals for Crippled Children', the charity began in 1903, thanks to a lady called Grace Kimmins who was passionate about helping children with disabilities. She took over a derelict former parish workhouse in rural East Sussex and brought 7 disabled children from East London to their 'place in the country'. Here they could be cared for, medically treated and educated in what became the first purpose-built school for children with disabilities in this country. She secured patronage of royalty, aristocracy, affluent businessmen and the press, financing additional building work through appeals or gifts. With more than a century of history, the Heritage has gone on to deal with a range of conditions such as tuberculosis, rickets, polio and those affected by the drug 'Thalidomide', even treating injured soldiers during both world wars.

Are you interested in finding out more about the histroy of Chailey Heritage Foundation? Below are links to various publications written to celebrate Chailey Heritage through the years.

Chailey Heritage 100 Hundred Years

Chailey Heritage 1903 - 1948

The history of Chailey Heritage 1903 - 1948, written by the charities founder, Dame Grace Kimmins.

The Coming of Age of the Heritage Craft Schools

Written in 1924 to mark the 21st 'coming of age' anniversary.

St Martin's Chapel

Chailey Heritage Old Scholars Association

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