St Mary's Orphanage / Industrial School for Roman Catholic Boys, Southall, Middlesex
St Mary's Orphanage for Boys was established in 1847 at Southall Lane, North Hyde, Southall. The buildings were part of former barracks used during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815).
The home's object was 'to receive boys chargeable to the poor rates within the metropolitan district and other pauper boys by agreement, and train them for trades, etc.' In other words, it was one of a number of such institutions set up to remove Catholic children from workhouses, where, it was feared, they would be likely to lose their faith. The St Mary's Orphanage for Girls at Walthamstow was under the same management and preformed a similar role.
Boys entering the Orphanage were between the ages of 7 and 14 years, with a certificate of health required and an agreed annual payment according to each individual's circumstances. Inmates remained until the age of 16. By 1890, the average number of in residence was 625.
The School site is shown on the 1895 map below.
On September 18th, 1914, St Mary's was certified as an Industrial School for Roman Catholic boys under the age of 10 at their date of admission. The St Mary's Orphanage for Girls at Walthamstow was similarly certified on the same day.
St Mary's gave up its Industrial School status in 1929. It continued to operate for some years as an institution for Catholic boys from what was now the Public Assistance system and was under the inspection of the Ministry of Health. In 1935, it had 300 places for boys aged 3 to 14 at their date of admission.
The premises were later occupied by British European Airways as a training centre. The building no longer exists and modern office blocks now cover the site.
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.
- Catholic Children's Society (Westminster), [formerly the Crusade of Rescue] 73 St Charles Square, London W10 6EJ. To enquire about access to the records of a child who grew up in one of the Society's homes, fill in the request form on the Society's website. Holdings unknown.
- Mahood, Linda Policing Gender, Class and Family: Britain, 1850-1940 (1995, Univeristy of Alberta Press)
- Prahms, Wendy Newcastle Ragged and Industrial School (2006, The History Press)
- No surviving local records identified at present.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.