Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4532

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1899-2007

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1.9 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Mary Ward House Trust
National Institute for Social Work x National Institute for Social Work Training


Administrative/Biographical history:

Mary Ward House (number 5 Tavistock Place) is an architecturally significant building, completed in 1898 by architects Smith and Brewer to house the Mary Ward Settlement (originally called the Passmore Edwards Settlement), founded by the novelist Mary Ward (better known as Mrs Humphrey Ward). The settlement was a residential community for lecturers and students, who were required to give their time to a community centre where local people could attend lectures and workshops, join special interest groups and self-help groups, and access a legal advice service. 9 Tavistock Place, adjacent to the House, was built later to accommodate the expansion of the Settlement, housing the first school for physically handicapped children in England.

Due to financial difficulties, the Mary Ward Settlement were forced to sell the building to the Nuffield Trust and lease it from them. In the 1960s the National Institute for Social Work began leasing Mary Ward House and 9 Tavistock Place, at first sub-letting part of it to the Mary Ward Settlement. They purchased the house outright in 1980, and the Mary Ward Settlement (by now called the Mary Ward Centre) moved to nearby 42/43 Queen Square.

The Mary Ward House Trust was established in 1997 by the National Institute for Social Work as part of their attempts to secure funding to restore Mary Ward House and improve disabled access. The aims of the Trust were:
to preserve for the benefit of the nation Mary Ward House and 9 Tavistock Place;
to support restoration and repair of these properties;
to promote access to the buildings;
to promote access to information about the buildings;
to make Mary Ward House wheelchair accessible;
and to make the historical features of the building more widely known.

Plans to carry out work on the house were developed from 1994, with the first of several approaches to the Heritage Lottery Fund. In 1996 an international architectural competition was held which resulted in the appointment of an architect, Karen Butti of Patricia Brock Associates. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided a grant towards feasibility stage work and 'The Mary Ward House Project' was begun. Unfortunately, the project became more complicated and expensive than was originally envisaged and in July 1999 it was announced that the Heritage Lottery Fund would not provide support. The Project was therefore closed without being implemented, and the National Institute for Social Work sold Mary Ward House to a private individual. The Mary Ward House Trust continued to monitor the House and promote information about its important historical features, before winding down in 2007.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Mary Ward House Trust and the National Institute for Social Work relating to the historical background, maintenance and restoration of Mary Ward House, 1899-2007.

Records of the Mary Ward House Trust relate to the administration and finances of the Trust, 1996-2007. Papers include correspondence with solicitors, the Charity Commission, English Heritage and Camden Council; memorandum and articles of association; Trustees meeting minutes, agendas and papers; annual reports and accounts; financial records; publications, brochures and newsletters produced by the Trust, and publications and research materials relating to Mary Ward and Mary Ward House collected by the Trust, dating between 1899 and 2002.

Records of the National Institute of Social Work relating to their routine maintenance of the Mary Ward House from their tenancy in the 1960s onwards; including deeds and leases, correspondence, minutes, reports, structural surveys and valuations.

Papers relating to the Mary Ward House Project, including applications to and correspondence with the Heritage Lottery Fund; papers relating to the International Architectural Competition; condition surveys; conservation plans; survey and proposal drawings and plans; fundraising papers; and photographs of the House.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

LMA/4532/A: Mary Ward House Trust papers;
LMA/4532/B: National Institute for Social Work papers relating to Mary Ward House;
LMA/4532/C: Mary Ward House Project;
LMA/4532/D: Mary Ward House Photographs.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the City of London.

Physical characteristics:

Generally fit.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in October 2007.


Related material:

Records of the Mary Ward Settlement are also held by LMA, see LMA/4524.

The National Institute of Social Work archive is held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick, reference MSS.463.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: June to August 2010.

Access for disabled people | Rights of the disabled | Rights of special groups
Architectural conservation | Heritage conservation | Cultural property preservation
Architectural heritage | Cultural heritage
Architectural historians | Historians | Social scientists
Architectural plans | Plans | Visual materials
Building design | Construction engineering
Building management | Real estate management | Business management | Management
Building plans | Plans | Visual materials
Restoration | Cultural property preservation

Personal names

Corporate names
Heritage Lottery Fund
Mary Ward House Trust
National Institute for Social Work x National Institute for Social Work Training
Passmore Edwards Settlement x Mary Ward Settlement x Mary Ward Centre

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