Silverlands House – Chertsey

Silverlands House was built in the 1800s and has had a rather interesting history. It was a private home, an actors orphanage and a nurse training school. The training school finally closed in the 1990s.

In 2001 there were plans to turn it into a clinic for convicted paedophiles. Needless to say, local residents protested against it, what-with it being so close to local schools. During the protests, the house received a £3million refit for it’s new role. But in 2002 the protests paid off and Parliament decided to end the conversion. It has remained empty since then…

  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House

Inside is rather magnificient. £3million well spent?….

  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
  • Thumbnail of Silverlands House
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47 Responses to Silverlands House – Chertsey

  1. Bill says:


    The architecture is very extravagant. I would love to live here. Looks like it would make very nice upscale apartments or boarding house. Possibly a nice small college also.

  2. Steady says:

    This is really weird for such a building just to be left derelict. looks really tidy though was it hard to get into??

  3. nick carpenter says:

    your pictures of silverlands bring back happy memories,i was one of the children there when it was an actors orphanage i was there from 1954 until it closed in december 1958.we had many happy times exploring the old building and the grounds and woods.

    • Ritika Jain says:


      I am currently researching on Silverlands as part of my project. I was wondering if anybody could help me out wrt access inside as well as stories of the days gone by. especially past residents.

      I would be highly obliged.


  4. graham sadler says:

    i worked on this building from 1999 to approx 2004 as security . this building is in my opinion defenetly hounted . there is agrave in the grounds which we belive to of a horse .which we found hidden just outside the library.

  5. janine sadler says:

    Those were the days working as security at silverlands . The building is in the exact same condition as it was before it had a refit – not much was done to it , nice place to work in the daytime – but at night you would,nt want to touch it – All the night officers could tell you a few things about the place, Also silverlands was a war hosiptal as part of St Peters hospital across the road .
    If you would like more info on this place please contact us

  6. Kate Bradshaw says:

    hi i was wondering if anyone would be able to help me track the current owners as i think that this would be a lovely place to do a fashion photoshoot.

  7. Kate Bradshaw says:

    hi i was wondering if anyone would be able to help me track the current owners as i think that this would be a lovely place to do a fashion photoshoot.

  8. Robert Dawson says:

    My brothers (Tony & Peter) lived here around 1950, I enjoyed my stay there, especially the education for which we had to go into Chertsea (as I remember).
    As far as my mother was conerned, it was not an orphanage, as we had to pay fees to stay there. Of this though I am ignorant.
    If anyone remembers me, please contact.

  9. Ann Penn (nee Holles) says:

    Hallo Robert, Yes I remember the 3 little Dawson boys. I was also at Silverlands between 1950-1955, but I am much older than you, being one of the “big girls”. All the Silverlanders who could be traced have had a few reunions, a huge one in 2000, and another in 2008. I have photos, also a lot of old photos. I have contact with some of the kids your age, if you remember any of the names let me know and I will see if I have their contact details.
    Actually, none of us had to pay fees, it was entirely funded by the Actor’s Charitable Trust, consisting of Noel Coward, Richard Attenbrough, and loads of other big names.
    Cheers, all the best, Ann.

  10. Liz Eastham and Jon Morris says:

    Hello Ann and fellow Silverlanders.
    Liz and I lived at Silverlands for many of our early years. We left in the late 50’s and went our seperate ways – both ending up with our own families in the USA.
    Now we are both on our own again but planning to get married this September.
    Most of the kids at Silverlands were not orphans but simply had one or both parents working in the theatre.
    If anyone knows where Norma Gumley or Susan Law are have them email

  11. Judy White Staber says:

    Hello to my fellow “orphans” It’s true that most of us were not orphans. We all had at least one parent.
    I believe I was in residence longest at Silverlands while it was the Actors Orphanage. I went there at the age of not quite four in December 1946 and left in January 1959, just be fore it closed and a few children moved to Watford. I too remember the Dawson boys and would love to communicate with Robert as I am writing a book about my years there. How long were you three Dawson boys there? No one seems to know. Silverlands was my home for most of my childhood and many days were happy ones. Thanks for the pictures guys. I wish someone would buy the house and save it before it falls down. It is such a beautiful house.

  12. Ray Carroll (Beefy) says:

    Hello to all from “Beefy”. I too was a Silverlands child from 1951 to 1958, & then moved on from there to Watford. I only remember the happy times spent there with all my many brothers & sisters. The house along with the vast grounds & woods were every childs ‘dream playground’. Bill Gates – “Please save this old place”.

    • Sally Montague-Brooks says:

      Hi Ray – like you, I moved from Silverlands up to Watford and was in residence at Nascot Wood House. I have recently been trying to find the house or at least where it used to be located (I’m pretty sure it has been knocked down); I know it was on Hempstead Road but don’t have any other details. I seem to remember it was next door to Rookwood and I guess this was where you stayed. It would be great to hear any info or memories you may have. Please email me at

  13. Robert Dawson says:

    Hello everyone who answered my last posting.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your replies. It was heartening to hear that we – the Dawson boys – are still remembered. I would love to correspond with you all, then I can answer your questions and ask some of my own. I can be contacted on I now live in Australia and am trying to update my Great grandfather’s autobiography ‘From Sawdust to Windsor Castle,’ among other things.

    • Robert Dawson says:

      Hi! All,
      Since posting this last word, I have become a scriptwriter. And am currently scripting a bio film on Whimsical Walker.
      He rose from an apprenticeship with Pablo Fanque to being summoned by Queen Victoria for her first Royal Command Performance. His life was so full of adventures, it reads like a boy’s own story.

      All the best to all of you. Both Silverlanders, and none Silverlanders.

  14. Rich says:

    Hi all

    I have the current owner details somewhere as we had the security on the site up until 2006 when it was bought by a Dr Chung who was going to turn it into a clinic, however the building still stands empty. a lot of fun was had whilst looking after this magnificant property a lot os scared security officers who refused to work there as it was “Haunted” lol

    • Paul Vincent Cable says:

      I love all your posts everyone, thank you. And thank you too to those of you who took the pictures – very inspiring.
      I (with 3 partners) am interested in starting our new school there, Callas International.
      If anyone has Dr Chung’s (or the current owners if he has sold it) details, that would be really wonderful.
      Thank you!

  15. vicki says:

    Hi everyone

    I was never a resident at this magnificiant house but my mum was a security guard there. I loved going up there with her just to look at it. I loved playing in the grounds, specially when it snowed.

  16. Linda Boxall says:

    I spent many wonderful hours day and night in that magnificant home and grounds and had many wonderful times at Silverlands .Yes it was every childs dream and play ground, thank you to Richard Attenbrough. Your pictures bring me so much joy ,Hello to all brothers and sisters that made my life so happy and thankyou to and to the love of my live.From Grin

  17. Linda Boxall says:

    Could you please tell me when is the next reunion for Silverlands will be?

  18. Terry Watt says:

    Linda Boxall – lost in Australia….or is she? I have been in Toronto since 1967, Linda, and you are very welcome to contact me at Furthermore, I spoke to Suzie at the 3 re-unions we have had so far and, only if you wish, I can put you in touch with her. I was talking with Jo Chappell ( now Morrow) in Chertsey and she showed some interest in organising another re-union. I joined Silverlands in June 1952 and certainly remember hearing about the Dawson brothers for some reason but they had left by that time. Just about everyone I stayed in contact with had lost their father early in life but still had their mother. Silverlands appeared to be the option once the breadwinner of the family passed away, which was the man in those days.

  19. christine says:

    Hi Rich

    if you happen to have found the owners’ contact details I’d love to speak to them about having an event there. Think you could email me? thanks a mill !

  20. Sjef Potters says:

    To anyone wjo has special interst in Silverlands.
    My Mother in law (83 years old) spend her childhood days at Silverlands before she and a lot of her schoolfriends were evacuated to America in 1940.
    She is the sister of welknowed film director John Gilling (Hammer Film) and her uncle was the famous Will Kellino. Now she suffers from Alzheimer dissease and i am making a documentary of her life.
    If anyone who has pictures of that time and would let me use them i would be very thankfull to.
    Sjef Potters, Holland

  21. granville bantock says:

    For Sjef Potters…I knew Mary Gislingham (Kellino]
    very well for the 12 years we were together as children at the Actors Orphanage..first at Langley Hall then Silverlands and then in New York…I have information and photos so perhaps you would like to get in touch.

  22. Sjef Potters says:

    Thanks to Judy, i got in touch with Granville Bantock and it enriched our life. We chared information about the A.O that is awesome, specially for Mary, who once was at Silverlands. Judy can you contact me because i have question to ask you.
    Thank you so much, Sjef

  23. Joanna says:

    This building is simply stunning. Asides from wanting to live there (need a few lottery wins I should imagine), this place has so much potential. It is almost criminal to let it stand disused. Someone mentioned luxury apartments which is one use, but I can see the very strong possibility of it making a fantastic wedding/events venue. Someone should really be capitalising on this potential and providing people with the opportunity to make use of it and appreciate it’s beauty. It is shameful to to just let it sit there. What a waste.

  24. VINCENT REED says:

    Hi all
    I think I remember the majority of you & I was at the 2000 reunion. My housemother was Kath Dutton.
    After the reunion, I moved to Devon & latterly to Kent & subsequently lost touch. I didn’t realise that there had been 2 further reunions & wish that I had been there.
    I am still working, as a photographer on major civil engineering projects, in London 2 days a week, which I enjoy very much. It’s strange how the world turns.
    I’m not as fit as I was but keeping active & enjoying my grandchildren.
    If you are planning any further reunions, I would like to be included please, so can you add me to your mailing list. I hope at least 1 of you reads this. My e mail address is Kindest regards Vincent

  25. Judy Staber says:

    I have just reconnected with this site after two years. This past year my memoir, Silverlands: Growing up at The Actors’ Orphange, has been published and is available through my website ( and should soon be on Amazon. I did considerable research about the house before my time there and wrote about what it was like to live there. You can contact me through the website if you wish.

  26. Greg Humphrey says:

    In preparing for a 90th birthday party for my father, we searched through our grandparents photo albums, and found a photo of Silverlands, taken by an ancestor in early 1900’s. My grandparents immigrated to Canada pre WW 1, and we think this photo was taken circa 1914.

    Thought it might be interesting for others to see an exterior photo of this beautiful property

  27. Terry Watt says:

    What a great photo…and so clear. the air raid shelters must have been built for World War 2.

  28. Katie Wannell says:

    Hello all. my grandmother used to live at silverlands as a child, i think her mother was one of the house mothers there. here name was Meryl Cheese (i think i have the right surname). does anyone remember her? also are there any famous faces now who grew up at Silverlands? i remember talk when i was young that Joanna Lumley had been there? Real surname Glumley apparently?

  29. Linda Boxall says:

    Hi Terry . No contact with email

  30. Jon Morris says:

    Don’t seem to find Dr.Chung anywhere…any ideas regarding the current owners?

  31. Jon Morris says:

    Internet advice that a recent sign shows European Institute of Human Sciences as being the new owners. I have Googled and found that EIHS is an Islamic institute with various facilities around the world, including one in Wales, UK.
    If they do own it, hopefully they will start repairing the roof and stopping the water from getting into our beautiful old building.

  32. hi i was at silverlands went when i was 3 which would be in 1946, nice to read about you all, my sister is elizabeth anne eastham, and i was caroline eastham, hope you are all well and happy in your life, shame about old silverlands, i never knew it was haunted, not that it would of bothered me, the innocence of children. luv to you all x

  33. Dolly Knockers says:

    What a wonderful byproduct of an Urbex report!

    This shows why it is so important to document abandoned buildings. If this had been demolished and a new building erected on the site without being documented like this, so many of these former residents would probably never found out what had happened to their former friends.

    Thank you for taking the time to post Derelicte.

    • nick carpenter says:

      as a child i spent 5 years of my life at silverlands with my younger brother,i was there from 1954 until december 1958 when the actors orphanage closed,the old photos on your web site bring back many memories.when the orphanage closed some of us children went to live in two adjacent houses just out side watford that the orphanage trust had purchased. nick carpenter

      • Cordie says:

        I was just checking out places I lived and I too lived at Silverlands my mother actually worked there – I was born 1954 and my first memories are of Silverlands – I too moved to the other home in Watford …..was never too sure on dates – remember more of the outside of the building even have a scar from the old place plus the dining room – Cornflakes with the free toys in them….many thanks for bringing back those memories – had forgotten all about….

  34. Patricia Godfrey says:

    I lived for 6 weeks and trained at Silverlands as a student nurse from Jan 1966 -Feb 1969. It then belonged to St.Peter’s Hospita across the road. On january 3rd we reported to the Home sister and I was put into a large bow windowed room on the First floor with 4 beds and 4 cupboards. Other students slept in the other rooms on that floor and there were 2 bathrooms. Downstairs there was a library, offices, lecture rooms, a dining room and a large room fitted out as a small hospital ward with 2 beds and a cot and all the equipment for us to learn our skills. For 6 weeks we lived and learnt here before we passed the Preliminary training school (PTS) and we moved down to the main hospital hut buildings, our own small room and to the hectic 10 -12 hour shifts in the hospital. We returned to Silverlands a few weeks a year for Study blocks and our final exams both in the practical room and classroom before becoming SRNs and leaving to see the world. Fond memories, don’t let it be demolished please.

  35. meronea dawson says:

    my grandfather was Captain Harold Vere Hankey. We always thought Silverlands was his family home. HE came to Dunedin Nz about 1900

  36. Gaynor Alexandra Maria Crosswright says:

    My name is Gaynor and I lived Silverlands from 1950 to 1959. Now I live in California.
    If you can help me finding some of them while I was in Silverlands, I really appreciate it. I didn’t know much about it till my sister contact me from UK. You can contact me by email. Thank you in advance,

    • Sally Montague-Brooks says:

      Dear Gaynor,

      My name is Sally and my sister is Fran …. I know your name from Nascot Wood and I very vaguely remember an older pretty girl with dark hair and I think that was you. I’m sure you will remember my sister as she is older than me – I was the baby and really remember very little at all. Fran has mentioned you a lot in the past and I know she would be over the moon to know you were in contact! Sadly we haven’t talked for a few years; it may be forever, but I don’t know.

      Do you remember us, Gaynor? Please email me back- I feel so excited!
      I went to the reunion in 2000 and went to see Silverlands. I met some of the people who had known me and looked after me because I was so young, but I don’t really remember them. Hardly anyone was there from Nascot Wood or Rookwood they were all much older but Andrew Boxer was there, do you remember him?! He was in a bit of a daze and wasn’t interested in me in the slightest!! I met Mummy Kath and her daughter – I’m sorry to say her other daughter had died – but this one I met behave oddly, she seemed to be still carrying a childhood jealousy of us being looked after by her Mum so we didn’t really speak. Sad to say quite a few people seemed pretty odd once you started to talk to them!

      Anyway, enough for now.

      Sally xxxx

  37. ann stephanie smith says:

    HI, my name is Stephanie, I lived at Silverlands between 1967-9. Although Silverlands was known as an orphanage most of the children were not orphans. 1968/9 was a time when the theatres were closing and being turned into bingo halls .The work for the parents dried up and a lot of artists left the profession. This enabled most of the children to be reunited with thiere parents. When Silverlands closed a small group of us were moved to Watford into two houses 190 and 192 the Hempstead Road, the houses were called Rookswood and Nascotwood house.

  38. ann stephanie smith says:

    The above should read 1957/9 not .1967/9 and should read 1958/9 not 1968/9. Apologies for misprint.

  39. SANDY says:

    Hi I am Sandy. I trained at Silverlands during the late 70s, lived on the top floor, and subsequently returned there as a lecturer in early 80s. I have fond memories of the place and remember how spooky it was to walk up the hill at night. I never experienced any ghostly sightings but it was always cold, misty and earie during the winter months. Anyone who may know me just drop me a line. would be great to hear from you.

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