London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of Toynbee Hall university settlement, including minutes of the Council; minutes of Committees of the Council; other records of the Council; financial accounts; Warden's files; papers relating to the Barnett Memorial Fellowship Trust, the Toynbee Hall Endowment Fund and the Attlee Memorial Foundation Appeal; papers of the Legal Advice Centre; newspaper cuttings books and plans.
Extent: 7.28 linear metres
Classification: CHARITIES
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • In 1873 Reverend Samuel Barnett and his wife Henrietta requested to be placed in a deprived parish so that they could participate in poor relief. The foundation of Toynbee Hall in 1884 was their solution to the poverty they witnessed. The Hall was a student's residence combined with a community centre. The Hall was open to young academics who were able to rent out rooms, on the condition that they contribute to the community work. The Hall was named after Arnold Toynbee, a social philosopher and economist and friend of the Barnetts, who had died the previous year aged 31, of meningitis caused by overwork.

    Although the idea that those studying poverty and unemployment should live among the poorer classes was not new, Toynbee Hall was innovatory because the students lived together like a college. This 'University Settlement' was the first of its kind in the world and the model for many others both in Great Britain and abroad. Clement Atlee and William Beveridge were among several influential residents.

    The Hall carried out varied work, offering legal advice, campaigning for the rights of immigrants, hosting lectures and providing adult education.

    Toynbee Hall is still active, situated on Commercial Street, E1 and providing support for the local community.

    See for more information (accessed August 2010).
Creator: Toynbee Hall
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • Records deposited in August 1987.
  • ACC/2486
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: The records have been sorted into an order which reflects divisions between the different functions and operations of the organisation and its administration.
Related Material: See also A/TOY for more records relating to Toynbee Hall.