Taken from an article by Jonathan Catton
Heritage & Museum
The former Ardale school site has now been
transformed into Stifford Green housing development.
The black and white photograph shows a range of
buildings, joined by gravel paths running between
the buildings and through what looks like well
tended rose beds, box hedges, benches and lawns.
A small car is parked close to the buildings.
The central building, which has survived the
development, looks remarkably like a water tower.
The flanking buildings have an air of the 'barrack
block' about their design and these have now been
The photograph must post date the 1914-18 Great War
as a monument has been erected commemorating either
staff or boys who having joined up were killed
during that conflict.
The Stepney Children's Home was set up in 1902 to
accommodate both orphaned and poor children from
that London district. It is believed that
there was a theme of agricultural training work, and
nearby fields were used for growing a range of
market garden crops.
By 1935 the site had changed its roll into an
'approved' school, changing again in 1959 to a
Community Home (education) under the control of the
London Borough of Newham. It finally closed in
'Ardale' gets its name from a previous Lord of the
Manor of Stifford, John Ardalle, who lived here in
the 16th century. I wonder if he ever thought
his name would have continuity into the 21st