By the beginning of the 1900s, the first steps in the development of Naturopathy in Britain were taking place. Although one hydropathic establishment was built by John Smedley in Matlock, Derbyshire in 1853, it was not until the period 1900-1914 that activity in England increased significantly. By 1900, Bernarr Macfadden, who had established a great reputation in America as a health culturist, had opened a publishing office in London. He had published many health books in the US, including a ‘Encyclopedia of Health Culture’ and established an English edition of his American ‘Physical Culture’ magazine. His books were so well received in Britain, that he came over in person and in about 1909 he opened a health sanitorium on the sea front at Brighton. This was able to accommodate about 50 patients and saw some remarkable cures of chronic disease without the use of drugs. Milton Powell, who wrote an early history of the nature cure movement, also had his interest in Nature Cure aroused by Bernarr Macfadden’s magazine and Encyclopedia. He worked in the Brighton Sanitorium from 1909-1910. After Milton Powell was demobilised in 1919, he began to practice in a small Nature Cure Health Home in Northampton.
Unfortunately, World War I forced the closure of the Brighton health home in 1914 and Macfadden returned to the United States. Fortunately for those in Britain, he returned after the War and opened a health home at Orchard Leigh in the Chilterns. One of Macfadden’s graduates from his American training college was Stanley Lief , who would take charge at Orchard Leigh and in later years played probably the most important role in spreading Nature Cure in Great Britain.