Hillcroft College

About Hillcroft College, the National Residential College for Women and an educational charity

Recently added images

  • Black and white photo, with a truck in the foreground.
  • Line drawing. Each room is labelled with its use, for example a billiard room, conservatory and laundry room.
  • Katie on the left is holding Ginger up for the camera. She has white hair in a bun and both her and Herta are smiling. Herta's dress has spots, Katie's is patterned and Ginger is ginger with stripes.
  • The Oakhill Timeline

Related Items

TitleDateDescription
The Gables 1877 The Gables on South Bank was built in 1877 for Wilberforce Bryant, of Bryant and May's Matches. View
The Gables Ground Floor 1877 Diagram of the The Gables Ground floor (now Hillcroft College). From The Building News 18th May 1877. By architect Roland Plumbe. View
Hillcroft College 1877 A picture of Hillcroft College taken from the garden. Photograph by Chris Stockbridge. Date: 06/08/2013. Format: Digital View
The Gables Hospital (aka The Princess of Wales Hospital for Wounded Soldiers, Surbiton) 1899 The Cooper family, owners of The Gables after the Bryants, turned their private theatre in to a hospital for soldiers injured in the Boer War October 1899 - May 1902. It was the only private military hospital in existence at the time. The hospital was twice visited by its patrons the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra). Alfred Cooper received a knighthood for his services to the wounded soldiers. View
Hillcroft College - The Early Years 1920 Hillcroft College was founded in 1920 as a residential college for working women and was based at The Holt in Beckenham, Kent. The College had support from a number of notable people and education enthusiasts, including Thomas Wall (II), Oxford University, a Countess of Portsmouth and even Virginia Woolf. The College students adopted the motto ‘Through Rough Ways to the Stars’. View
Through Rough Ways to the Stars 1921 Residential College for Working Women motto. It appears on the early editions of the College's annual report, up until the 1950s. View
Netball at Hillcroft College 1926 Students playing netball outside the Gables Theater (1926). Image from Hillcroft College photograph album. View
Ms Theo Smythe Business Card 1929 This is Miss Theo Smythe's business card. Theo was a student at Hillcroft College in 1929. She also ran a successful business in London as a builder and decorator. From a Hillcroft College Photograph album. View
Ms Theo Smythe, Hillcroft Student 1929 This is a picture of Ms Theo Smythe. Theo was a student at Hillcroft College in 1929. She also ran a successful business in London as a builder and decorator. This picture shows her painting high up a ladder in Museum St. in London. Other pictures in a Hillcroft photograph album also show her with short wavy hair and wearing trousers, and so strikes a figure as someone who had a sense of style. Her business card is also uploaded on to the OCHP site. This picture is a clipping from a Hillcroft photograph album, publisher and date unknown. View
An account of the early years of Hillcroft College by Miss Phoebe Walters 1931 Miss Phoebe Walters, the Secretary of the National Education Committee of the YWCA in 1918 - 1919, was instrumental in the founding of the Residential College for Working Women (later known as Hillcroft College). This is her account of those early years up until 1930. View
A Midsummer Night's Dream 1937 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Photograph of three Hillcroft students, date unknown. Image from Hillcroft College photograph album. View
A Midsummer Night's Dream 1937 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Photograph of three Hillcroft students, date unknown. Image from Hillcroft College photograph album. View
Surbiton Railway Station 1937 This is a picture of Surbiton Railways station. It was taken in 1955, and is taken from the diary of Katie Farmer who was a student at Hillcroft College from 1955-1956. Ref KX357, held at Kingston Archives. View
Hillcroft College During the Second World War 1943 Between July 1943 and September 1945 Hillcroft College's chief work was the development of the Correspondence Courses (distance learning). These were open to anyone who wanted to take them. In 1942 the War Office took on four of the courses for men and women in the forces, with the art courses being the most popular. The War Office retained the scheme as a permanent fixture of post-war Army education. View
Hillcroft College - Post War 1945 The College reopened in September 1945, and post-war Britain brought new challenges and opportunities for Hillcroft College. View
The Hillcroft Cat 1956 In the 1950s Hillcroft had a resident cat called Tiger. But in 1956 a cat called Ginger turned up at the College looking to be 'top cat'.Ginger is the cat in the picture above with Hillcroft students Katie Farmer and Herta. By the looks of the photograph Ginger had some success. Katie noted in her diary on her last day at Hillcroft, 6 July 1956, that 'poor Ginger was very unsettled when everyone left'. Picture from Katie Farmer's diary, held at Kingston Museum and Heritage Service Ref KX357. View
Principals of Hillcroft College 2013 To date Hillcroft has had seven Principals View
Michael Wheeler discusses his time at Hillcroft as its first male Principal 2013 Interview with Michael Wheeler. Discussing Hillcroft college and what it was like to be the first male Principal in the college's history. Recorded by Glenis Ward 11th July 2013. MP3 File. View
Mavis Cheek's Recollections of Hillcroft College 2013 Interview with Mavis Cheek, a student at Hillcroft College from 1976 to 1978. Recorded by Chris Stockbridge 31 July 2013. MP3 File. View
Mary McNulty's memories of being a Hillcroft Tutor 2013 Interview with Mary McNulty, Hillcroft College tutor 1961 - 1965. Interviewed by Chris Stockbridge 19 August 2013. MP3 File. View
Handle and Lock 2013 Original door handle and lock. These fancy patterned fixtures are only found on rooms alongside the main hallway. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Stained Glass Doors 2013 These doors have been in the building that Hillcroft College calls home since it was built in 1877. There is a long necked and legged bird on each door, surrounded by flowers. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Phoenix on (can you guess where?) 2013 This phoenix is on the bottom of a 'meteor water closet' that can be still be used in the College. So even The Gables' toilets were posh. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Phoenix on (can you guess where?) 2013 This phoenix is on the bottom of a 'meteor water closet' that can be still be used in the College. So even The Gables' toilets were posh. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Sign on Safe Door 2013 The sign on The Gables' safe reads 'Chubb's 57 St Pauls Church Yard London Patent Safe'. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Original Wallpaper 2013 This is the only square of original wallpaper left in the building that has not been painted over. Apparently, Betty de Fries had memories of her grandparents' (Herbert and Elizabeth Boret) bedroom ceiling painted with cherubs and blue skies. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Stained Glass Window 2013 This beautiful window is in what would have been The Gables' second porch - probably used by children when it was a private residence. It shows a woman dancing underneath a tree. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Hillcroft Main Hall 2013 Picture taken from main landing. The lights hang over the main hall. Below you can see the main entrance. Directly to the left of the entrance is the Phoebe Walters room, originally the library. To the left of that is the Hillcroft library, originally the drawing room. Opposite on the main landing is a portrait of Thomas Wall (II), the College's first treasurer and patron. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Dairy Room Tiles 2013 These tiles are in what was The Gables' dairy room. There are several different patterns. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Dairy Room Tiles 2013 These tiles are in what was The Gables' dairy room. There are several different patterns. Have you noticed that in each of the images there is a boat? Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
The Ladies Ante Room 2013 This picture, taken from the main stairs, shows what was originally used as the ladies ante room. It is now a small tutorial space. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Hillcroft College Chimney Inscription 2013 The main chimney breast outside is inscribed with 'M.L.B. 1877', for Margaret Bryant (Margaret is not recorded as having a middle name - so the 'L' possibly stands for Leila, their daughter). Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
Safe Key 2013 Chubb Key to the double door safe. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
The Gables' Safe - Open 2013 This impressive double door safe was part of the original design for the building. It stands floor to ceiling, and was probably used to store the silver and jewellery. It is one of the few original fixtures still being used. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
The Gables' Safe 2013 This impressive double door safe was part of the original design for the building. It stands floor to ceiling, and was probably used to store the silver and jewellery. Picture taken by OCHP: 21/08/2013. Format: digital. View
The Oakhill Timeline 2013 The First Heritage project timeline board erected in the Oakhill area. View