KLEINWORT, Herman 1856-1942. Banker. Lived at ‘The Platanes’, Champion Hill from 1890 to 1908. A member of the banking firm that bears his name and descended from German Lutherans from Schleswig who established a firm of merchant bankers in London by 1792. Although British citizens, Herman Kleinwort and his wife Marguerite were also part of the large German colony around Champion Hill. This colony included four other houses occupied by members of the family. By 1908 however, Champion Hill had ceased to enjoy its isolated and rustic seclusion. According to Kleinwort many of the larger houses in the neighbourhood were being occupied as boarding houses, hostels, nursing institutions and educational colleges. The Dulwich College Estates Governors turned down Kleinwort’s plans to develop his estate into smaller housing units, and in the event he was unable to sell it. Finally, in order to rid himself of the unwanted lease which still had 57 years to run, he gave the house to King’s College Hospital as a hostel for students. It remains a Hall of Residence for King’s College medical students to this day. Article here.

Brian Green