Ancestry UK

Dean Bank Institution, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

Dean Bank Institution for the Reformation of Female Juvenile Delinquents was establshed in 1832 and subsequently occupied premises at Dean Bank Lane, in the Stockbridge district of Edinburgh. Its object was to reform of girls and young women who had been been discharged from prison. In 1848, the Institution opened a branch establishment at Boroughmuirhead, in the Edinburgh suburb of Morningside. Amongst their various sources of income, the two institutions received an annual grant from local police funds.

The Institution site is shown on the 1852 map below.

Dean Bank Institution site, Edinburgh, c.1852.

Dean Bank's focus then began to change, becoming more of a preventive institution, taking in neglected, destitute or orphan girls and training them for domestic service. Boroughmuirhead continued in its role as a Reformatory establishment, as an alternative to prison for girls convicted of crime. After being formally certified in 1858, Boroughmuirhead began to receive government funding, while Dean Bank reamined as charitably supported institution. In 1870, Dean Bank changed its name changed to the 'Dean Bank Institution for the Religious, Moral, and Industrial Training of Girls'.

By 1884, the Institution was described as taking 'neglected destitute girls, and those on the verge of crime'. A payment of 2s. 6d. was requested for each girl placed, although exceptional cases were received free. The inmates were mainly occupied in washing and laundry work. The matron at this period was Miss Isabella Fraser.

In 1913, the Dean Bank Lane premises were taken over by the Edinburgh School Board. The Institution then moved to newly built premises at 35 Canaan Lane, Morningside, where there was accommodation for up to 36 girls, aged from 8 to 12 years at their date of admission. From around this time, the establishment was also known as Dean Bank School.

The Canaan Lane site is shown on the 1932 map below.

Dean Bank Institution site, Edinburgh, c.1932.

By the 1970s, the premises were in use by the Edinburgh Council as a children's home. In more recent times, the property has housed council offices.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.



  • None identified at present.