Ancestry UK

Leeds Charity School / St John's Home, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire

The Leeds Charity School was founded by subscription in 1705. It initially occupied the premises of the Leeds Parish Workhouse at the junction of Vicar Lane and Lady Lane, which at that date had fallen into disuse.

In 1726, following the re-opening of the workhouse, the School moved into the converted chapel of Harrison's Almshouses on Mark Lane, Leeds. The institution fell into decay but was revived in 1815 and the Mark Lane premises rebuilt. It was decided that, with the advent of Sunday and National Schools, the Charity School would now receive up to 80 poor girls, generally from the age of 12 upwards, who would be trained for domestic service.

Former Leeds Charity School, Mark Lane, 2016. © Peter Higginbotham

In the 1890s, the institution moved to premises at Hawthorne House, Regent Street, Chapel Allerton, and was known as St John's Home. In 1911, there were 26 girls in residence and the matron was Mary Slater.

Former Leeds Charity School, Hawthorne House, Chapel Allerton, 2018. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1924, the Home relocated to a large house known as Spring Bank at 53 Headingley Lane, Leeds. Still know as St John's Home (or Orphanage), the establishment now accommodated up to orphaned and destitute 40 boys and girls, aged from 3 to 14 years.

The Home closed in around 1933. The property was subsequently occupied by the Spring Bank Nursery.

Former St John's Home, Leeds, 2015. © Peter Higginbotham

The Regent Street and Spring Bank buildings have now been converted to private residential use.


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  • None identified at present.