St Andrew's Home For Boys, Matlock, Derbyshire

In 1901, the Waifs and Strays Society was offered the use of Cliffe House, part of the corn mill buildings on Tansley (now Lumsdale) Road, Matlock. The property had previously been the residence of mill owner Ernest Bailey who had moved to a new house and now had no use for the old building. Cliffe House became the St Andrew's Home for Boys, with its official opening taking place on November 30th (St Andrew's Day) 1901.

St Andrew's Home For Boys, Matlock, 1901. © Peter Higginbotham

Dedication of St Andrew's Home For Boys, Matlock, 1901. © Peter Higginbotham

Former St Andrew's Home For Boys, Matlock, 2014. © Peter Higginbotham

The home could accommodate 34 boys aged from 8 to 14 years.

St Andrew's Home For Boys, Matlock, c.1913. © Peter Higginbotham

St Andrew's was well provided with sporting facilities, including a gymnasium and two large playing fields. Boys from the home gave gymnastic displays at local events. The extensive property also had a games room and very large dining room.

Boys at the home joined the 2nd Matlock Scout Troop, with the younger boys also becoming Wolf Cubs. The activities included an annual Summer Camp.

Wolf Cubs at St Andrew's Home For Boys, Matlock, c.1923. © Peter Higginbotham

St Andrew's Home For Boys at Summer Camp, c.1930. © Peter Higginbotham

St Andrew's Home For Boys, Matlock, c.1932. © Peter Higginbotham

At his death in 1938, Mr Bailey bequeathed the home's buildings and playing fields to the Waifs and Strays Society, together with £1,000 for the benefit of the establishment.

St Andrew's was closed in 1946 and the boys were transferred to the Society's Penketh home.

In 1949, Ernest Bailey's former later residence, The Butts, located a short distance from Cliffe House, was re-opened as the Ernest Bailey Nursery.

The former Corn Mill site, where the St Andrew's Home was located, has now been converted to private housing.


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.

  • The Children's Society Records and Archives Centre is at Edward Rudolf House, Margery Street, London, WC1X 0JL (email: Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood.
    The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
  • The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
  • Derbyshire Record Office, New Street, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3FE. (Postal address: County Hall, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3AG.) Holdings: Administrative records relating to Ernest Bailey House; Minutes of the Derbyshire Dales Committee for the Children's Society, formerly Friends of Ernest Bailey Nursery (1961-2009).


  • None noted at present.
  • No surviving local records identified at present.