The History of Rainham Hall

Rainham Hall is a wonderful example of early 18th-century architecture. Built in 1729, it was designed as a home, not for the super-rich, but for a ‘middling sort’ of maritime merchant. It was built to be lived in and used. The Hall has been home to nearly 50 different inhabitants in under 300 years. Discover some of the fascinating stories about former residents here. Each article links to research acquired through our changing exhibitions programme, and we'll update this page as we discover more.

John Harle's Will

Captain John Harle (1688-1742)

Read about John Harle's life at sea and the building of Rainham Hall.

Nursery children at Rainham Hall during the Second World War

Remembering the Day Nursery at Rainham Hall

Between 2017-2018 our exhibition programme explored the era when the building operated as a day nursery for local children between 1943-1954.

The Rainham Hall day nursery operated between 1943-1954

Roger and Janice

Discover the remarkable story of Roger and Janice - two former attendees of the Rainham Hall day nursery.

John and a friend with a Rainham Hall nursery nurse during the late 1940s

Remembering Rainham women's war effort

Women played a crucial role in the establishment of war-time nurseries and the running of them. Read on to find out more about the Matron and nursery assistants at Rainham Hall between 1943-1954.