Discover our history

Wilhelmina House 045

Both Wilhelmina House and Whitgift House have undergone extensions which are now complete. The homes have both been freshly painted, with new carpets and modern furniture.

We have named the extensions after key figures of The Whitgift Foundation:

van Hoorn Suite:
At the beginning of the second world war Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands fled to London, landing at Croydon Airport. The Dutch Church Austin Friars, in the City of London, became a focal point for the Dutch community in its resistance against German occupation.

Queen Wilhelmina

Wilhelmina House was later founded by the Dutch Church, in gratitude for the role that Britain played in the liberation of Europe and the Netherlands in particular. The Church created a residential care home for both British and Dutch elderly citizens and named it in honour of the Dutch Queen.

The refurbished communal space at Wilhelmina House has been given the van Hoorn name in honour of Christiaan and his wife Margaret van Hoorn who spent much of their lives dedicated to running Wilhelmina on behalf of the Dutch Church.

Photo of Queen Wilhelmina:
Creative Commons (Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0)

Anne Dynewell Suite:
Although little is known about Anne Dynewell, John Whitgift’s mother. She must have been a formidable woman with great faith and therefore a perfect choice for naming the new community room at Whitgift House.

Born in Great Grimsby to a highly respected local merchant in 1508. Anne Dynewell was described as a “gentlewoman” and of “good birth and reputation”. Anne met Henry Whitgift, a successful merchant, property owner and Alderman when he travelled from York to reside in Great Grimsby. They married and had at least nine children; six sons and three daughters. At the age of 23, Anne gave birth to her eldest child, John Whitgift, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury. Anne died at the age of 50 at her birthplace.

Whitgift House

Learn more about Whitgift House

Learn more about Wilhelmina House