Our History

The original endowment of Baptist Hicks, Lord Campden was made in 1629. This was used to purchase the Charecroft Estate in Sheperd's Bush in 1635. The income from which was to be used for ‘the good and benefit of the poor of the Parish forever’.

The endowment of Elizabeth Hicks, Lady Campden was added in 1643 and used to purchase Butt’s Field in1644 (now Hyde Park Gate and Kensington Gate). One half of the income from which was to be used ‘to put forth one poor boy or more to be apprentices and one half towards the better relief of the most poor and needy people that be of good life and conversation’.

In 1651 a plot of land that now includes Clanricarde Gardens was given to the Charities known as Cromwell’s Gift it was allegedly donated by the Cromwell family.

A bill was passed in 1777 so that from 1778 to 1816 the Charities’ total income was used to fund a loan to build and operate Kensington Workhouse, erected on Butt’s Field.

From 1816 until 1879, after the debt to build the workhouse had been paid, the income was divided between an apprentices’ fund and a poor people’s fund.

In 1879 after the workhouse had been moved and the Charities’ released from the liabilities, the Charity Commission drafted a scheme, modified in 1884 and 1890, directing that income was to be used to interpret the original endowments in terms of pensions, apprenticeships, educational exhibitions and the relief of the poor. Two moieties were eventually established, the first for the benefit of the poor and the second for the advancement of education.

1892 the Campden Charities bought a site on Lancaster Road to build a school to educate the ‘poor of the area’. It was opened in 1896 as the Campden Technical Institute. The Charities divided into two; the Campden Non-Educational Charity and the Campden Educational Foundation which operated the school. Four other charities added their income to the upkeep of the school and were later absorbed into the Campden Educational Foundation. In 1936 the Charities amalgamated once more and the London County Council took control of the school until it was closed in 1958. 

A new scheme was sealed in 1990 updating the amalgamated Charities. Until 2004 the majority of the Charities’ funds were used in grant giving to local voluntary organisations. Since that time there has been a shift to funding individuals directly.

The Campden Charities Trustee incorporated on the 5th of April 2004 and registered as a separate charity to act as the Trustee of the Campden Charities. The objects are: ‘to relieve either generally or individually persons resident in the former Parish of Kensington and the former Royal Borough of Kensington who are in conditions of need hardship and distress and to promote the education and training (including vocational, social, recreational and physical) of those in need of financial assistance by means of grants to individuals and organisations.’