Ancestry UK

Southwood House, Ilford, Essex

In around 1931, Barnardo's opened the Southwood House girls' hostel at 32 Southwood Gardens, Gants Hill, Ilford. As well as working girls, the hostel began taking in school leavers from 1951. In 1961, the accommodation was converted into bedsits to house older girls, then from 1966 admitted solo mothers and their children.

The hostel closed in around 1973.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.


  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)