Gwynedd County Council Homes
The administrative county of Gwynedd was created in 1974 as part of a local government reorganisation in England and Wales. Gwynedd incorporated the counties of Anglesey and Caernarfonshire, most of Merionethshire, and a few parishes in Denbighshire. Gwynedd's social services department took over the management of children's homes previously run by the Anglesey County Council, Carnarvonshire and Merionethshire County Councils.
Following a further reorganisation in 1996, Gwynedd was abolished and its local government was divided among a number of new administrations: the Isle of Anglesey became an independent authority, and Aberconwy (which included the former Denbighshire parishes) became part of the new Conwy County Borough. The remainder of the area was reconstituted as the County of Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire, as it covers most of the areas of those two historic counties. As one of its first actions, the Council renamed itself Gwynedd on 2 April 1996.
Children's establishments run at some time in their history by Gwynedd County Council.
- Y Gwyngyll, Llanfair PG
- 43 Ucheldre, Llangefni
- Ty Newydd, Bangor
- Eryl Wen, Pant Yr Elthin, Harlech
- 5 Queens Park Close, Holyhead
- Roslin Nursery, Nant-y-Gamar Road, Llandudno
- Cilan, 59-61 Heol y Llan, Barmouth
- Eryl Wen, Eryl Place, Llandudno
The involvement of local authorities in the running of children's homes dates from 1930, when they took over the running of the poor relief system previously administered by Boards of Guardians. Surviving records for council-run children's homes may be held in each council's own internal archives. Prior to 1991, however, when a legal requirement was introduced for councils to retain records of children leaving their care, the survival of such records is very variable. Contact details for local authorities in the UK can be found on the website of the Care Leavers Association (CLA). The CLA also provides guidance on accessing childhood care files, which are normally only open to the individuals they relate to.
Locating local authority records has been complicated by the various local government reorganizations that have taken place in recent times, such as the abolition of the London County Council in 1965, and the major nationwide restructuring in 1974 in which many administrative areas were created, amended or eliminated.
Older records may sometimes be placed with the relevant county or borough record office. Many of these repositories have online catalogues of their holdings and also contribute to the National Archives' Discovery database. Note that records containing personal data usually have access closed for a period of fifty years or more.
Older material relating to Gwynedd Council homes may exist at:
- Caernarfon Record Office, Swyddfa'r Cyngor, Caernarfon LL55 1SH.
Some records relating to council-run homes, for example inspection reports (though not resident lists etc.), are held by The National Archives (TNA). A closure period may apply to these records.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Urquhart, Gloria (2020) Nobody's Child: The True Story of Growing up in a Yorkshire Children's Home
- Cooke, Allan Institutionalized in a Children's Home: Skellow Hall 1950-1963 — a true story of a child and children in a home (2012, Authorhouse)
- Cummings, Les Forgotten: The Heartrending Story of Life in a Children's Home
- Limbrick, Gudrun The Children of the Homes: a century of Erdington Cottage Homes
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.