Ancestry UK

Queen Elizabeth's Lodge Reformatory, Old Southgate, London / St Elizabeth's, Brighton

In 1914, the Church Army established the Queen Elizabeth's Lodge Reformatory for 'immoral girls', otherwise termed as those 'whose antecedents render them unsuitable for admission to an ordinary reformatory school'. The institution, based in premises at The Bourne, Old Southgate, officially came into operation on February 18th, 1914. The Home, as it was generally referred to, could accommodate up to 25 girls aged from 14 to 16 at their date of admission.

Queen Elizabeth's Lodge, c.1913. © Peter Higginbotham

On July 17th, 1917, an annexe of the Home, sometimes referred to as a Special School, was opened at 'London Cottage' — part of the Brighton Home for Female Penitents site at Finsbury Road, Albion Hill, Brighton. On October 11th of the same year, the separate certificates held by the two branches were replaced by a joint one, perhaps to simplify the administration of transferring girls between the two sites.

In 1919, the Home gave up the Old Southgate premises and moved to Brighton. What was now known as St Elizabeth's Reformatory School for Girls, was based at 18 West Drive, Queen's Park, Brighton, and could house 16 girls. A branch home accommodating 19 girls, known as Murray Vicars' House, was also situated at the Albion Hill site, where 19 girls could be accommodated. The new arrangement officially came into operation on November 1st, 1919. A year later, on October 11th, 1920, the Murray Vicars' House premises gave up its Reformatory certificate, with the West Drive site following suit on November 9th, 1921.

By 1930, St Elizabeth's was being used to accommodate 18 girls aged from 14 to 16 who needed moral protection. The home appears to have closed by 1935.

The West Drive premises later became the St Elizabeth's nursing home for the elderly. The Old Southgate site is now covered by commercial and residential buildings in the vicinity of Tudor Way.


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.

  • The bulk of the Church Army's archives have been deposited in the Bible Society Library, housed at Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. The material does not include minute books or admission records, however.


  • The Church Army, Wilson Carlile Centre, 50 Cavendish Street, Sheffield S3 7RZ.