Ancestry UK

Brockham Home and Training School, Brockham, Surrey

The Brockham Home and Training School, also known as the Brockham Orphan Industrial School, was opened on February 1st, 1859, at Brockham, near Reigate, Surrey. It was founded by the Honourable Mrs Emmeline Way, of Wonham Manor, Reigate to take orphan girls of good character out of workhouses.

The Home received girls between the ages of 12 and 16 and trained them in household work such as cooking, laundry and needlework to prepare them for domestic service. The Home also provided accommodation for former inmates who were between situations, providing that they had not been guilty of any serious misbehaviour. Girls who stayed in the first post for a year and received a good report from their employer were awarded a prize of £1.

In 1859, the Home acquired certification as an Industrial School. At the time, this was the only means by which Boards of Guardians could pay an independent institution for taking girls into its care. With the passing of Poor Law (Certified Schools) Act of 1862, largely brought about by Mrs Way's efforts, the Home resigned its Industrial School certificate and instead became a Certified School.

The Home occupied premises, on Wheeler Lane, Brockham, and could accommodate up to 25 girls aged 11 to 14 at their time of admission. Boards of Guardians were charged from 3s. to 6s. a week for girl they placed, with private cases paying an annual fee of £10. In 1872, a separate nursery department was established for up to 12 children aged 2 to 10 years. The matron at this date was Miss Catherine Baily (or Bailey).

Former Brockham Home and Training School

In 1911, major building work was carried out at the Home at a cost of £1000. Miss Vickery was appointed matron.

For a number of years from 1916 onwards, the girls had regular holiday stays at the Box Hill Fort on the North Downs.

By the 1950s, the Home had become known as Way House, accommodating up to 30 girls from the age of 5 upwards, at a weekly charge of 42s.

The Home finally closed in around 1969 and the property was converted to residential use.


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