St Mark's County Home / Home for Girls, Carnarvon, Carnarvonshire, Wales

The St Mark's Home for Girls was founded in around 1880 and had premises somewhere in Carnarvon (the then usual Anglicised spelling of Caernarfon). It was originally known as St Mark's County Home for Destitute Girls of Carnarvonshire.

In 1889, the Home became officially accredited as a Certified School, allowing it to receive girls from the workhouse system, placed by Boards of Guardians for a weekly payment.

In May, 1890, the Home relocated to 13 South Road, Carnarvon. The property could accommodate 18 girls, who were aged from 6 to 14 at their time of admission.

In 1893, the running of the home was taken over by the Waifs and Strays Society.

The St Mark's Home operated in conjunction with the St Mark's Nursery Home at Tregarth, also taken over by the Society in 1893. Girls from Tregarth were transferred to the Carnarvon Home at the age of 11.

The girls at St Mark's were prepared for an eventual life in domestic service and trained in housework, laundry work and cooking.

St Mark's Home for Girls, Carnarvon, c.1914. © Peter Higginbotham

St Mark's Home for Girls, Carnarvon, c.1922. © Peter Higginbotham

The St Mark's Home closed in 1924. According to one newspaper report, this was apparently because of lack of funds.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.


  • 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.