YESTERDAY-CWD-QUADJust three years after founding, The Home of Rest was established in excellent premises at Friar’s Place Farm, Acton and enjoyed twenty years there before the lease expired. The first major move, in 1908, was to Westcroft Farm in Cricklewood - just four miles from Central London.


The property comprised some 20 acres of pasture land, stabling and necessary buildings and was purchased for the sum of £14,000. The farm required considerable rennovation and new buildings to accommodate upwards of 80 horses.YESTERDAY-CWD-SIGN.jpg Twenty looseboxes and 2 isolation units were built thanks to generous donations by private patrons. Donors sponsored a loosebox at the cost of £1,000 (roughly equivalent to £70,000 today) and an inscribed plaque was placed on the box in recognition.

In 1909 The Home of Rest for Horses began to open regularly for visitors for the first time. Wednesday afternoons became special “At Home” days when the Secretary made a point of being in attendance to receive visitors and show them over the Institution.  On these occasions afternoon tea was also provided at a charge. The Home of Rest also invited visitors to join them on New Years Day to treat the horses to a few 'tit'bits'.

Despite the close proximity of the new premises to central London, there was still a need to transport lame horses that could not walk and were in need of help. In 1910 The Home of Rest ran a special appeal to raise funds to buy their first horse ambulance. Thanks to a £50 donation from Mrs. Mansel and the generous response of other kind friends of the charity, they were able to purchase a handsome new horse drawn ambulance.

The Home of Rest for Horses remained at Cricklewood throughout the First World War. Although the role of working horses began to change a central location remained critical as most of the residents were working horses from the middle of the metropolis. But as London grew, so did demand for housing land. In 1934, the need for new homes in Hampstead Borough forced the Home of Rest to new premises.



Two Cricklewood Residents



Extract from 1911 Report  

 ‘The New Year Festival of 1911 was further rendered memorable, in that advantage was taken of the opportunity to formally open a new Stable of twelve Loose Boxes, erected in part by the Hon. Pauline Cranstoun, a generous supporter of the Society’s work, and, as the inscription placed upon the boxes at her request testifies ‘The Friend of Old Horses.’ The opening ceremony was performed by Lady Edward Spencer Churchill, who most kindly attended for the purpose and made a very graceful and moving speech eulogizing the objects and work of the Society, and advocating its claims to the support of all lovers of the horse.’