St Deiniol's Home for Boys, Arthog, near Barmouth, Merionethshire, Wales

In 1888, a house known as Bron-Meirion, at Arthog, near Barmouth, was purchased by Lady Elizabeth Legge as a home for the care of four young boys. Three years later, she offered the home on very generous terms to the a Waifs and Strays Society and it passed into the Society's hands on September 29th, 1891. It was formally re-opened as the Society's St Deiniol's (or St Deniol's) Home for Boys by the local vicar, the Rev. J.E. Davis, on October 22nd, 1891. Lady Legge continued in her existing role as the home's matron, helped by an assistant matron. The home accommodated up to 15 boys aged from 5 to 12 years.

St Deiniol's Home for Boys, Arthog, c.1892. © Peter Higginbotham

On May 13th, 1895, the home was certified by the Local Government Board to receive pauper boys placed there by the Boards of Guardians that operated the poor relief and workhouse system. It was believed that the fresh air and countryside would have a beneficial effect on poor children from urban slums who came to live at the home.

St Deiniol's Home for Boys, Arthog, c.1901. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1903, the home was closed, possibly with its small size and inconveniently remote location contributing to this decision.

The property is now a private residence.

Records

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Bibliography

  • Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
  • Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
  • Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
  • Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
  • Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.