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The Lantern Community, Living, working and sharing together

Our History


The Lantern Community came into existence on St. Martins Day 11th November 1997, so named:

“In recognition of the life and deeds of St. Martin, who in a selfless and compassionate way, gave warmth and strength to those in need”

The Lantern Community has grown and developed over the years from, initially, one house community and six residents. We now offer a home, working and social life to over 40 residents and day placements, in ten houses.

Our history has certainly shown our outer development, in terms of facilities such as housing and workshops but alongside this, and the motivator for such development, is the many hundreds of people who have both lived and worked in the Lantern


Camphill is a worldwide movement dedicated to community living that supports and values the contributions of all community participants without regard to their intellectual or physical capabilities. Camphill communities have taken up many tasks. Among the most prominent are:

  1. Providing education, advocacy, therapeutic care and other services to support people with special needs and help them participate fully in the world as contributing citizens;
  2. Caring for and healing the earth, together with people with special needs, through sustainable and healthy methods of consumption, of agriculture and use of natural resources; and
  3. Creating new social arrangements and intentional relationships that nurture the growth and development of individuals, inwardly and outwardly.

A Pathway to Wholeness

Camphill communities are all different, adapting the worldwide movement mission to local circumstances and local needs. In every Camphill adult community, the path to wholeness involves relationships of mutual respect, adult education and meaningful work, real participation in community life, including community decision-making, a healing rhythm of daily activities, seasonal celebrations, a rich artistic and cultural life,  natural therapies, individual recognition, and dignity for everyone. This path is created for all Camphill community residents, not just for those with special needs.

For a fuller history of Camphill Communities go to

Dr. Karl König

Dr. Karl König was an Austrian paediatrician and educator. He fled the Nazi invasion of his own country and settled in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1939 with a group of young physicians, artists and caregivers. These individuals founded the first Camphill community with children having learning disabilities. Dr. König and his colleagues were inspired by Anthroposophy and the teaching of philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner, PhD. Dr. König’s vision was to develop Camphill communities together with people who have special needs. His unique and effective approach focused on the abilities of each person, not the disabilities. Members of the communities support and learn from each other in a process of mutual interaction. The needs of each person are met through living in a cooperative community – each individual contributing his or her own special gifts and talents. This vision lives on and each new generation in Camphill strives towards achieving it. The International Camphill Movement consists of more than 90 communities in 19 countries. Camphill continues to work to create communities in which children, youth, and adults with special needs can live, learn, and work with others in healthy social relationships based on mutual care and respect.