Our History

Sir Henry HarbenRustington was purpose-built as a convalescent home in 1897 by Sir Henry Harben, President of the Prudential Assurance Company, and a previous Master of the Carpenter’s Company, an ancient guild of the City of London. Sir Henry spent over £50,000 buying the nine acre site and building the Home, which was designed by the architect Frederick Wheeler, F.R.I.B.A.

The Home was designed as a place where working men could convalesce after an illness or accident and enable them to become fully active again. It was officially opened on 20 March 1897 in a ceremony led by the Bishop of Chichester, and admitted its first guests just four days later.

Now, over 100 years later, Rustington welcomes both men and women of all ages and from every walk of life.

A new century

When Sir Henry died in 1911, the Carpenters’ Company took over the management of the home. It remained open during the First World War, but was requisitioned and closed during the Second World War until 1946.

The modern era

During the 1970s, extensive modernisation and refurbishment works were carried out, and in 1997, Rustington Convalescent Home proudly celebrated its centenary.

Sir Henry’s original vision lives on thanks to his generous endowment and Rustington continues to provide affordable, high quality convalescent care in what is now a Grade II listed building set in beautiful surroundings.

The Governors

Rustington’s Governors are the Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters – a Livery Company of the City of London.

Since its foundation in the thirteenth century, the Carpenters’ Company has worked with the sick and needy, and supported the craft of carpentry.

The Carpenters’ Company is also responsible for Wyatt’s Almshouses in Godalming, Surrey, and the Building Crafts College in Stratford, London. Grants are made to students at schools connected with the City of London, and at craft training schools nationwide. A number of other charitable causes are also supported.

Find out more about the Carpenters’ Company