Located South of the historic town of Hemel Hempstead, and nestled within 32 acres of South-West Hertfordshire countryside, Felden Lodge has been an important site for the Boys’ Brigade for seventy years.
Felden Lodge came to public attention in 1911 when it was listed for sale and later purchased by a local politician – Mr Cooper – who was Borough member for nearby Berkhamsted. Between the two World Wars, Felden Lodge was listed for sale once more and was sold to Charles Albert Hall in 1933, the year when the Boys’ Brigade was celebrating its Jubilee. During the Second World War, the property was used as a hostel for Dutch and Belgian refugees before returning to the open market after a brief period of ownership by Oxford University.
By the late 1940s, The Boys’ Brigade was searching for a suitable location for a training centre in England, having purchased Carronvale House, Stirlingshire, as a training hub for Scotland and Ireland in 1947. Thanks to a generous donation from the South Africa Aid to Britain Fund, the Brigade was able to purchase Felden Lodge to serve the training needs of the organisation in England and, on 22 October 1949, was officially opened by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester.
Since its opening Felden Lodge has been a centre of activity for The Boys’ Brigade and has been the venue for a diverse range of training activities. From the early years of its use by the Brigade, one of the central training events was the King George VI Leadership training when, for one week each summer, Felden Lodge housed intensive training for senior non-commissioned Officers. Over the years the programme of training has expanded to meet the needs of The Boys’ Brigade in a changing World, with Firm Foundations and ‘Life 2 the Max’ more recent additions to the development opportunities available to members, Officers, and helpers alike.