Linden Lodge School

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Linden Lodge School
61 Princes Way

Wimbledon Park, London
SW19 6JB

Coordinates51°26′38″N 0°12′47″W / 51.4439°N 0.2131°W / 51.4439; -0.2131Coordinates: 51°26′38″N 0°12′47″W / 51.4439°N 0.2131°W / 51.4439; -0.2131
TypeCommunity special school
Local authorityWandsworth
SpecialistsVisual Impairment
Multi-disabled Visual Impairment
Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties
Department for Education URN145709 Tables
CEOJacqueline Valin
Head TeacherDeborah Rix
Age2 to 19
HousesMole, Beverley and Wandle
ArchitectSir Edwin Lutyens
Architectural styleMock Tudor

Linden Lodge School for the Blind is a specialist sensory and physical college located in Wimbledon, South London. It educates visually impaired children aged between two and nineteen, including those who are multi-disabled visually impaired.[1]

The school was one of two residential schools for blind children opened by the London School Board in 1902. Initially for boys only, the original location of the school was at Wandsworth Common.[2] The present main school building was designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1934.[3]


The school's original building at 26 Bolingbroke Grove (known as Linden Lodge) on the east side of Wandsworth Common had been designed in 1876 by the architect E R Robson as a private residence for a retired headmistress, Marjory Peddie.[4][5] On Peddie's death in 1879, the building was purchased by the School for the Indigent Blind, then located at St George's Fields, Southwark, which opened a school for junior pupils. In 1902, the entire school (including the elementary department) moved to Leatherhead, Surrey and the house was put up for sale again.[6] The building was subsequently taken over by the London School Board and Linden Lodge School (as it is still known today) opened on 10 December 1902.[7][8] The school educated around fifty blind boys aged between 13 and 16, of whom around forty were boarders.[6] A similar school for visually impaired girls was opened at Elm Court in West Norwood in June of the same year.[7]

During the Second World War the children of both schools were evacuated away from London. The boys returned to Bolingbroke Grove in 1945, however Elm Court School had suffered considerable bomb damage during the Blitz and it was not practical for the girls to resume their education there. After several years at temporary locations in both Brighton and Sunningdale, the girls were moved to North House in Wimbledon (now the main school site) and from 1949 onwards Linden Lodge operated as a single coeducational school split between two locations, under the control of one headmaster: The junior boys and girls (up to the age of ten) were both housed and taught at the North House site, whilst the senior girls were transported by bus each morning to join the older boys for lessons on the Bolingbroke Grove site.[7]

The Bolingbroke Grove site was closed in 1964, when the senior boys moved to a purpose built school in the grounds of North House.[9] Today, 26 Bolingbroke Grove forms part of Northcote Lodge School.[10]

Linden Lodge was the first school in the UK to use the Perkins Upward Brailler to enable their students to type using the Braille alphabet.[9]

North House[edit]

North House was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1934 for Robert Wilson Black,[3] a partner of the Estate Agents firm Knight & Co. and a local hotelier.[11] In 2006 Sprunt Architects extensively refurbished the original Lutyens house, designed a new residential building for the students and restored the original Gertrude Jekyll garden.[12]

Wandsworth Sensory Support Services[edit]

Historically in Wandsworth, having two well-established schools for children with visual impairment (Linden Lodge School) and hearing impairment (Oak Lodge School) and two Sensory Support Services (Hearing Support & Vision Support) meant that there was likely to be a larger than average group of children with combined losses. Following the Linden Lodge School governing body taking oversight for the hearing support service, Wandsworth Sensory Support Service was created to improve joint working between the two Sensory Support Services. On the 18 May 2018 The Isobel Centre a new purpose-built facility opened to house the core office for both Services and specialist assessment rooms on the Linden Lodge School campus.[13]

Wandsworth Vision Support Service[edit]

Wandsworth Vision Support Service is based in the Lodge Family Centre, within the grounds of Linden Lodge School. The Service works in close collaboration with the school, it also provides an outreach service to support all children and young people from birth to 19 years with visual impairment with and without additional needs in the boroughs of Wandsworth and Kensington and Chelsea. The school's governing body oversees the service (Sensory Support Service Committee).[14]

Wandsworth Hearing Support Service[edit]

Wandsworth Hearing Support Service provides outreach support to deaf children and young people in Wandsworth from birth to 19 years of age in both mainstream and special schools. The school's governing body oversees the service (Sensory Support Service Committee).[14]

ClearVision Project[edit]

ClearVision is a national postal lending library for visually impaired children and their families based at Linden Lodge School. The library began as a modest collection of braille and print books created in the mid-1980s for students at the school, before becoming an independent charity in 1992.[15] ClearVision books are commercially published children's books with text added in either Braille or Moon and are designed for children with little or no sight to share with sighted children or adults. The project lends to approximately 100 public libraries in the UK and also lends directly to around 130 families with visually impaired children.[16] The Project's patron is the former Children's Laureate, Anne Fine.[15]

Notable former pupils and staff[edit]





  1. ^ "Linden Lodge School". 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  2. ^ Mackay, Donald (1904). Final Report of the School Board for London, 1870-1904. London: P.S. King & son. p. 180.
  3. ^ a b Amery, Colin; Richardson, Margaret; Stamp, Gavin; Gough, Piers; Huggett, Roger (1981). Lutyens : the work of the English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). London: Arts Council of Great Britain. ISBN 9780728703049.
  4. ^ Historic buildings in London : an inventory of historic buildings owned by the Greater London Council. London: Academy Editions. 1975.
  5. ^ "Between the Commons 2" (PDF). English Heritage. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b Ritchie, JM (1930). Concerning the Blind. London: Oliver and Boyd.
  7. ^ a b c Scott OBE, JA (1954). Report of the County Medical Officer of Health and School Medical Officer. London County Council.
  8. ^ a b c d Baker, David; Green, Lucy (2017). Insights in sound : visually impaired musicians' lives and learning. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781138209312.
  9. ^ a b Daynes, Edward (1970). The growth of Special Education in London. Inner London Education Authority.
  10. ^ "About the school". Northcote Lodge School. Northwood Schools. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  11. ^ Townsend, Henry (1954). Robert Wilson Black. London: Carey Kingsgate Press.
  12. ^ "Linden Lodge case study" (PDF). Sprunt. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  13. ^ "Isobel Centre Opening". Linden Lodge School. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Governing Body - Linden Lodge School & Wandsworth Sensory Support Service". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  15. ^ a b "ClearVision Children's Braille Library". ClearVision Project. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  16. ^ Rankin, Carolynn; Brock, Avril (2009). Delivering the best start:A guide to early years libraries. London: Facet Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85604-610-7.
  17. ^ Brace, Mike (1980). Where there's a will. London: Souvenir Press. ISBN 9780285648937.
  18. ^ Bull, Andy (19 January 2016). "How blind cricket made an England star of Hassan Khan". The Guardian.
  19. ^ "Hayley Oliver Music is presented by the Country Music Planet". Country Music Planet. 20 May 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  20. ^ Ockelford, Adam (2007). In The Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 9780091796129.
  21. ^ Leake, Alison; Wheeler, Mark (1986). Race to be seen. Harlow: Longman. ISBN 9780582224551.
  22. ^ Shearing, George (28 April 2005). Lullaby of Birdland: The Autobiography of George Shearing. Bayou Jazz Lives. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. ISBN 978-0826417244.
  23. ^ "Mr. Edward Evans Welfare Of The Deaf And Blind". The Times. London. 31 March 1960. p. 14.
  24. ^ "Adam Ockelford: Music teacher". TED: Ideas worth spreading. TED Conferences LLD. 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Blake Aldridge". Blake Aldridge. Retrieved 2016-06-01.

External links[edit]