Ancestry UK

Colchester Diocesan Refuge, Colchester, Essex

The Colchester Diocesan Refuge was founded in 1859 by Mrs James Round, wife of the rector of All Saints, Colchester. Its first premises were in Ipswich Road.

The establishment appears to have been re-founded as a 'refuge' in 1885, subsequently coming under the auspices of the Diocesan Association for Girls' Aid (later known as thr Diocesan Moral Welfare Association, then Diocesan Committee for Family Care). In 1892 it relocated to Wellington House, East Hill. Between about 1896 and 1906 it occupied premises at Stowting Villa, Mersea Road, where there was accommodation for up to 6 'fallen' girls or women. No age limit was placed on those admitted.

The refuge then moved to Standen House, 38 Gladstone Road. Colchester, with six places available under the care of Sister Annie Walton Kay.

In 1912 it transferred to Bays' House, 1 Trinity Street, where up to 10 girls could be housed. By 1930, Sister Tomlinson had takn charge of the hostel, then described as taking 'fallen and preventive' cases.

It remained at Trinity Street until 1938 when a street-widening scheme caused the refuge to move to 87 East Hill, where it became known as the Good Shepherd Hostel, then operating as a mother and baby home. Up until 1944, the hostel also acted as a remand home.

Despite being renovated in 1983, the East Hill premises closed in 1984, and the hostel was transferred to Cambridge Lodge, 1 Cambridge Road, Colchester, run by the Good Shepherd House Trust, until finally closing in 1988. The building was then sold and the proceeds invested, the income used to sponsor a community project in Greenstead-juxta-Colchester.


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  • None identified at present.