In November 1893 the National Society for the Employment of Epileptics purchased Skipping's Farm and farmhouse at Chalfont Common for £3,900. The Cornish philanthropist John Passmore Edwards (1823-1911) donated £4,000 towards the cost of the site and a further £1,000 towards the farm's expenses. The Building Committee erected two temporary iron huts on the site and the first 14 Colonists arrived in July 1894, to be looked after by 5 members of staff. Work began on the first permanent dwelling in September 1894. John Passmore Edwards offered to pay for the costs of the building, estimated at about £1,800. He laid the foundation stone of the two-storey cottage on 14th November 1894. The Chalfont Epileptic Colony was officially opened in November 1895 by the Duke of Devonshire. The new cottage had already been occupied by half the residents from the Iron Home in August 1895. Built in local brick up to the first floor and then roughcast above, the cottage could accommodate 18 male Colonists in two dormitories, and a Matron and other staff. It was named Passmore Edwards House.