Home Of The Good Shepherd for Boys, Hanley Castle, near Malvern, Worcestershire
The Home Of The Good Shepherd for Boys was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1888 at Hanley Castle, near Malvern, Worcestershire. It could accommodate 12 boys aged from 8 to 12. In 1890, when the lease could not be extended on the original premises, a new building, designed by Mr Peach, was erected just outside the nearby village of Hanley Swan, near St Gabriel's Church. (Although the home was now at Hanley Swan, its location is usually given as Hanley Castle.) It was opened on May 21st, 1891, by Canon of Worcester, Bishop Creighton.
The new home, which could house 20 boys, included two large dormitories, four bedrooms, a sick room, a committee room, a boys' room, sitting room, kitchen, and a covered playground. After an extension at the left-hand side of the building was constructed in 1892, the home's capacity was increased to 24. A playroom was added in 1927 and a further new wing in 1936.
In 1927, a new Master and Matron, Mrs and Mrs Parker, took charge of the home. On April 26th, they took part in the recently introduced ceremony of "Installation" conducted by the Society's Secretary, Dr Westcott. Due to the number of people present at the occasion, the proceedings took place in St Gabriels' Church. Boys from the home formed the choir, as they generally did.
The home ceased operation in 1950. It was then taken over by Worcestershire County Council and renamed Shepherd House. It closed sometime in the 1960s and by 1975 the building was semi-derelict. The site was then taken over by the The Highball Trust and became the Highball Country Centre. It provides self-catering accommodation to schools, youth groups and other organisations from the West Midlands and beyond.
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.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Block A Floor 2, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clement's Road, London, England SE16 4DG (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
- Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.
- Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
- Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
- The Highball Trust
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.