Ancestry UK

Cumberland Reformatory for Boys, Carlisle, Cumberland

The Cumberland Reformatory School for Boys was opened in October 1854 by Mr G.H. Head, of Stanwix, who for a while also financed the running of the establishment. The institution was located at Stanwix, to the north of Carlisle, where Tarraby Lane now runs. The premises were officially certified for use on May 1st, 1855, to receive up to boys committed by magistrates. A report in 1857 noted that the buildings had originally been intended as farm premises but had been remarkably well altered for their new use. The School was also said to have been adapted to receive masters in training to work in reformatory schools.

Former Cumberland Reformatory for Boys from the south, Stanwix, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

The School had 118 acres of farmland and the industrial training given to the boys was mainly agricultural. The farm, like most in the area was a dairy one and cheese featured prominently in its produce. Inspection reports were regularly positive and in 1881, it was suggested that 'there is no better School under inspection.' By this date, there were also tailors' and shoemakers' workshops in operation. The School also had a wind band.

Former Cumberland Reformatory for Boys from the west, Stanwix, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

The Cumberland Reformatory was closed in 1882 and the inmates transferred to other establishments.

The former Reformatory premises now form part of the Brampton Road campus of the University of Cumbria.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.