George Lyward and Finchden Manor.

George Lyward and the therapeutic community he set up and ran, Finchden Manor, were legendary to those of us entering this work in the 1970's.
I regret never meeting him nor visiting Finchden.
In a way I felt as though I knew him through listening to Richard Balbernie.

George Lyward wrote very little about his work, as far as I know, which is why the articles from New Era are so special and has been reproduced here in full.
His work was extremely influential and this material helps us to understand why this was the case.

Monsieur George A. Lyward, Educateur Britannique – L’homme et l’œuvre

Thesis by Nathan Brunei, 1982. I received an email, via this website, drawing to my attention that a Frenchman, Nathan Brunei, had researched the work of George Lyward and Finchden Manor in the 1970’s. He came over to England and met George Lyward’s son, John. In 1982 Nathan Brunei completed the thesis at the University […]

George Lyward – BBC Radio 4 ‘Great Lives’

From the Introduction… Aged sixteen and struggling with his sexuality, Tom Robinson attempted to take his own life. Following a series of assessments and tests, he was interviewed for Finchden Manor, a therapeutic community which Robinson describes as the “last chance saloon.” Under the stewardship of George Lyward, Finchden Manor was an unconventional place that […]

Glimpses into the Community

Sallie Roberts, London. Finchden Manor is a community consisting of between 50-60 boys and young men, and some ten members of staff. The boys have always been known as The House; the staff are called by first or nicknames. Mr Lyward was known to many, many people – parents, teachers, students and patients – as […]

What Authority Means

Barbara Smith Director of Special Education Course, Bristol, U.K. Mr Lyward came to the experienced teachers’ course in Special Education at Redland College, in Bristol, as external examiner. The first thought that comes to my mind is a comment in a letter from a former student on hearing of his death. “Dear, dear Mr Lyward; […]

Anger of a Therapist

Simon Auster, Psychiatrist, Virginia, USA George Lyward was a lonely man. To be sure, like the rest of us, much that he did perpetuated that state. But as is true with so many talented charismatic individuals his admirers mistaking the myths for the man, looked no further than the truly inspiring surface of the teacher […]

A Royal Course

By Gordon Toplis, School of Architecture, Manchester, UK. It is well known that in coastal navigation one may discover one’s position by taking bearings on known fixed objects. These bearings, when charted, should theoretically meet at a point. But of course they never do, except in ideal conditions. They tend, rather, to define an area […]

The Stricken Healer

What was it about George Lyward which made me feel that to expose student-teachers, however briefly, to his influence, could be a vitally important ingredient in their training? Probably much the same thing that kept me, as a teacher myself, coming back to him for wisdom over a period of more than thirty years. In this article I shall try to catch that quality in the man as it relates to the philosophical cross-currents and dilemmas of twentieth century education.

A Memorial Address

John Prickett, Tenterden, UK No one who knew him well is likely to deny that in his chosen sphere George Lyward had a gift which can only be described as genius, by which I mean a gift comparable to that of a poet, a gift which leaves both the poet himself and the listener (or […]

Introduction to Finchden

By David Dunhill | Reprinted in the New Era July/August 1973 p. 164. On the strength (to me, the weakness) of a radio programme which I recorded at Finchden and an obituary notice which I wrote for ‘The Times’, I have been asked to contribute an introduction to the series of articles which make up […]