St Deiniol's Home for Boys, Arthog, near Barmouth, Merionethshire, Wales
In 1888, a house known as Bron-Meirion, at Arthog, near Barmouth, was purchased by Lady Elizabeth Legge as a home for the care of four young boys. Three years later, she offered the home on very generous terms to the a Waifs and Strays Society and it passed into the Society's hands on September 29th, 1891. It was formally re-opened as the Society's St Deiniol's (or St Deniol's) Home for Boys by the local vicar, the Rev. J.E. Davis, on October 22nd, 1891. Lady Legge continued in her existing role as the home's matron, helped by an assistant matron. The home accommodated up to 15 boys aged from 5 to 12 years.
On May 13th, 1895, the home was certified by the Local Government Board to receive pauper boys placed there by the Boards of Guardians that operated the poor relief and workhouse system. It was believed that the fresh air and countryside would have a beneficial effect on poor children from urban slums who came to live at the home.
In 1903, the home was closed, possibly with its small size and inconveniently remote location contributing to this decision.
The property is now a private residence.
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.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Block A Floor 2, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clement's Road, London, England SE16 4DG (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). 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).
- Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
- Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.
- Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
- Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
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