Ancestry UK

Old Mill Reformatory for Boys, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

In 1839, Dr George Watt bequeathed the Old Mill (or Oldmill) estate, two miles to the west of Aberdeen, to extend the work of the city's House of Refuge. However, no use was made of the land until 1855 when a public meeting resolved that an establishment should be built to reform boys who had been convicted of crime. In December 1855, construction work began on the new building and on March 9th, 1857, the Old Mill Reformatory was officially certified to accommodate up 150 boys, aged 10 to 16, who had been sentenced by the courts to detention for between two and five years.

The location of the home is shown on the 1867 map below.

Old Mill Reformatory for Boys site, Aberdeen, c.1867.

By 1897, the institution had accumulated considerable debts and was closed the following year. The site was acquired by Aberdeen Parish Council and the buildings were demolished to make way for the new Aberdeen Poorhouse (later Oldmill Hospital).


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.