Ancestry UK

Ever Open Door, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland

In February 1892, Dr Barnardo opened an 'Ever Open Door' receiving house in Newcastle at 10 Saville Row. It was one of seven such establishments being set up in Britain's provincial cities at that date, the others being in Bath, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool and Plymouth. The Ever Open Door houses, with their slogan 'No Destitute Child Ever Refused Admission', were open twenty-four hours a day and provided short-term shelter for homeless youngsters while consideration was given to their future, which would generally be in a long-term Barnardo home or emigration to Canada.

The premises at Saville Row could accommodate up to twenty children, with 17 being the upper age limit for admission. By 1910, the Ever Open Door had relocated to 24 Shieldfield Green, Newcastle, again housing up to ten children.

The establishment moved again in 1933 to a property known as Millbrooke at 51 Scrogg Road, Newcastle. From 1941 until 1945, it operated from temporary premises at Linhope, 26 Mitchell Avenue, Newcastle. In 1956, Millbrooke became a Barnardo's short-stay home, then in 1961 was used as a long-term residence until its closure in 1965 when the children were transferred to the new Thorntree Drive home at Whitley Bay.

51 Scrogg Road, Newcastle, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Neither the Saville Row or Shieldfield Green properties still exist. In more recent times, the Scrogg Road premises have housed a community mental health resource centre.


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)