Ancestry UK

Ravelrig House & Cruachan, Balerno, Midlothian, Scotland

Ravelrig House, a home for babies and toddlers, was opened in August 1948 on Lanark Road West, Balerno. A day nursery facility was added in 1968. From September 1971 until February 1975, the property was also used as a general mixed home.

Ravelrig House, Balerno, c.1912. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1966, a separate unit called Cruachan was opened in the grounds of Ravelrig House providing specialist care for children with diabetes. In 1973, it was converted to house for boys having physical and learning difficulties.

Ravelrig House, Balerno, date unknown. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1977, Ravelrig and Cruachan became a joint establishment to extend Cruachan's care for children with physical and learning problems.

Ravelrig House has now been converted to residential use. The Cruachan building no longer exists.


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.


  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)