People often ask about the history of St Julians, where Kent International Club (KIC) hold our monthly coffee mornings. Some people who have lived in Sevenoaks for a long time, as I have, may have some hazy background knowledge but a little research has showed what an appropriate building this is for our women’s group events.
Dr Elizabeth Tylden was an eminent forensic psychiatrist working with adult survivors of child abuse who acted as an expert witness in many such cases from 1948 until her retirement in 2004.
In 1951 she and her husband Dr George Morgan, along with other professional couples, bought a Georgian country house on the outskirts of Sevenoaks. They were both doctors with London practices. The idea was that these professional couples would work in London while having their children looked after in the house’s nursery.
St Julians was established as a private members club in 1956, with the purpose of creating an experimental communal household. Each family had separate living accommodation but meals were taken together. The freedom this offered women in particular to pursue careers, whilst sharing childcare was very forward thinking in the 1950’s. Over the years artistic studios and workshops have been set up, which allow people to work even closer to home.
Today St Julians is a thriving country club which continues to be run by Elizabeth’s son and grandchildren and many of the staff are also residents. It is an idyllic site which we use each month. Next time you visit consider the history which made it the family-friendly place it is today.