History of the Homes
Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes have been providing accommodation for elderly residents since 1945 when they became available to evacuees made homeless during the war. Since then, and thanks to the generosity of many, the homes have continued to grow and thrive into modern facilities you see today.
Our history - an overview
1936 - Diplocks cottages
Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes started as the Diplocks Cottages which were built in 1936 as a memorial to Caleb Diplock, a wealthy Polegate resident and landowner. They were for the poor and needy living within three miles of the Parish Church.
In 1945 his distant relatives succeeded in contesting his will and the Cottages were put up for sale.
1945 - Opening of Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes
Under the Trusteeship of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), with the generous help of the Bernhard Baron Trust and many other donors, the cottages were purchased and renamed the Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes. The Homes are for anyone in need (social, physical, economic or other), of any religion or political opinion and of any race.
The first Residents were elderly evacuees who had been made homeless in the 1939-45 war.
1950 onwards - Investment in facilities
The dining room, sitting room and main corridor were built in 1950 followed by three other corridors and other improvements at intervals since.
The cottages were converted from bed sitting rooms with shared kitchen and toilet/bathroom to self-contained cottages, and a continuous programme of improvements has seen new showers, refurbished kitchens, double glazing and independent central heating.
The rooms in the main building are continuously upgraded. Each now has its own toilet facilities, and most have en-suite showers.
2007/08 - Expanding the Homes
An extension was added to one of the wings, together with a new lounge, residents’ laundry and assisted bath facilities, to provide more appropriate accommodation for couples in the main building.
Today - Modern facilities for all
In recent years we have also improved our reception and office areas, providing an easier and more welcome access area for residents and visitors. These improvements benefit our residents greatly and include:
upgrading the kitchen, dining room and main lounge
introducing coffee/tea making facilities for independent use of residents, family and friends and visitors
providing WiFi throughout the property free of charge as well as digital television
independent telephones linked to our central system.