Infant Orphan Asylum, Liverpool, Lancashire
The Infant Orphan Asylum was established in Liverpool in 1858 and run in association with the existing Female Orphan Asylum and Orphan Boys' Asylum, for children too young to enter these institutions. As had happened with the earlier establishments, the initial inmates were accommodated in a rented property. The premises, on Upper Parliament Street, accommodated up to 40 children who were under the care of the matron, Mrs Colling, and schoolteacher, Miss Skellorn.
The new Infant Asylum, to house up to 150 inmates, was erected on Melville Place, close to the existing boys' and girls premises on Myrtle Street. Its foundation stone was laid on March 14th, 1859, by Mr Harmood Banner who also performed the official opening on April 12th, 1860. The building, which housed up to 150 children, was designed by John Cunningham and cost around £7,000 to construct and furnish. The location of the Asylum buildings is shown on the 1891 map below.
Admission to the Infant Asylum was limited to those born within seven miles of the Liverpool Exchange, and aged under seven years at their date of entry. No children were admitted from workhouses. Applicants were required to provide certificates of their birth, baptism, and of the marriage and death of their parents.
On reaching the age of 8 or 9, the children would be transferred to the appropriate boys' or girls' Asylum.
By 1891, the Infant Asylum had a cottage at Liscard where parties of 12 or 14 children could be sent from time to time.
In 1913, all three Asylums were placed under a single management and became the Liverpool Orphan Asylum, renamed the Liverpool Orphanage in 1925. At around this date, consideration began to be given to relocating the Orphanage away from the city centre. A fund-raising campaign was launched and in 1930 a Great Fair was held in aid of the appeal. The site for a new building was located on Woolton Road, in the Childwall area of Liverpool, and the new Liverpool Orphanage premises were opened in the summer of 1934.
The Melville Place and Myrtle Street buildings no longer survive.
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.
- Liverpool Archives, 3rd Floor, Central Library, William Brown Street, L3 8EW. Holdings include: Annual reports (1844-1913, some missing); Admission registers (1866-1914); Admission papers and certificates (1858-1924); Discharge registers (1840-1904); Case files; Visitors books (1880-1914); Accounts (from 1858); Minutes (from 1861); Correspondence (from 1856); Infant Asylum Journal (1859-92).
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- None identified at present.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.