Christie Homes, Scotland

The Christie Female Industrial Homes were founded by John Christie in Lauriston, Edinburgh in 1889, with a residential establishment, Inverey House, being opened on the High Street, Portobello, in 1892.

Inverey House, Portobello, c.1906.

Three further homes were opened in Haddington, East Lothian. The first of these, in 1898, was Tenterfield, located at the start of Dunbar Road, though its address was sometimes given as Hardgate. Its location is shown on the 1906 map below:

Christie Homes Tenterfield site, Haddington, c.1906.

After Christie died in 1902, part of his estate was used for the purchase of another large house in the town, Templedean, on Florabank Road. After being extended, the new home opened in 1903.

Christie Homes Templedean site, Haddington, c.1906.

Templedean Home, Haddington, East Lothian, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

After the Portobello home was forced to close, due its site being compulsorily purchased by Edinburgh Corporation as the location for the new Portobello town hall, a third home, Carmendean, was opened at Haddington in October 1912. It was built on land adjoining Templedean, at the east of the existing building, to which it was linked by a corridor. A school was also provided for all the children in the Christie homes in Haddington, who had previously attended local state schools. The opening of the new buildings was the subject of a report in a local newspaper.

The new Carmendean Home has been designed on the lines of some of the old Yorkshire halls, and is an attractive and commodious structure, beautifully situated and designed on the most approved lines. Accommodation is provided for 50 girls. The new school is in the western part of the grounds, with a southern exposure, giving a magnificent prospect southwards to the Lammermoors. A large space in front of the building has been laid with cement, and this will be used not only as a playground, but also for open-air teaching. The building has been designed to serve a double purpose, the two classrooms being divided by folding doors, which , when opened permit of the rooms being used as a commodious hall, capable of accommodating the whole of the children and a large company on special occasions. Up-to-date furnishings and accommodation of all kinds have been provided, these including provision for magic lantern and cinematographic entertainments, the film room haying a separate entrance detached from tho building. A feature is found in French doors towards the south, which will afford, in suitable weather, facilities for open-air teaching. The design of the building is based on the lines of an old orangery, and is quaint and pleasing. Opportunity has been taken to introduce to the three homes and the school an electric light installation. The whole work has been carried out under the supervision of Mr J. Alexander Carfrae, architect, Edinburgh. The schools are under the superintendence of Sister Eva, and the matrons of the homes are Miss McCaw (Tenterfield), Miss Rennie (Templedean), and Miss Hogg (Carmendean). The children under Miss Bulle gave a clever display, including Swedish Drill.

The report also noted that since the homes were founded, 250 girls had been sent out to domestio service and and other employments.

In about 1938, a seaside holiday home for the Haddington children was opened at 2 Tantallon Terrace, North Berwick.

After the Second World War, the Tenterfield Home taken over by Midlothian County Council. It and the other homes closed in the early 1970s.

The former Templedean premises have been divided into two separate dwellings, the front portion now known as Templedean House and the side and rear as West Templedean. The Carmendean building is now known as Templedean Hall. The Tenterfield building, now Tenterfield House, has been divided into apartments. The North Berwick also survives.

Records

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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.

Bibliography

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