Lady Meath, c.1890s

Lady Meath, c.1890s

Chaworth House, Ottershaw, was built for the Earl and Countess of Meath around 1910. It was located on part of 20 acres of land between the Guildford and Brox Roads. From the time of the Enclosure Act in the early 19th century, this land had been acquired by the Crown as an allotment. It was then held by James Paine, son of the eminent architect who lived at Sayes Court, and the land later became a nursery ground.

When the Countess of Meath died in 1918, her will stated that the land was to be given to the Ministering Children’s League, of which she was a founder, but her husband could lease it back for his own use until his death. On the Earl’s death eleven years later it was sold by the Trustees of the Ministering Children’s League, in 1936 it changed hands again when it was purchased by The Wantage Sisters who ran it as a home for girls until 1965.

From 1965 Chaworth House was home to an approved school run by the Home Office and later by the Department of Health and Social Security. They in turn passed it to the Borough of Camden in 1973, and it is now run by Camden as a community Home with education taking 22 pupils aged 14 to 18 in a house which has been much extended since the Countess’ era.