Ancestry UK

St Mary's Orphanage / Industrial School for Roman Catholic Boys, Southall, Middlesex

St Mary's Orphanage for Boys was established in 1847 at Southall Lane, North Hyde, Southall. The buildings were part of former barracks used during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815).

The home's object was 'to receive boys chargeable to the poor rates within the metropolitan district and other pauper boys by agreement, and train them for trades, etc.' In other words, it was one of a number of such institutions set up to remove Catholic children from workhouses, where, it was feared, they would be likely to lose their faith. The St Mary's Orphanage for Girls at Walthamstow was under the same management and preformed a similar role.

Boys entering the Orphanage were between the ages of 7 and 14 years, with a certificate of health required and an agreed annual payment according to each individual's circumstances. Inmates remained until the age of 16. By 1890, the average number of in residence was 625.

The School site is shown on the 1895 map below.

St Mary's Orphanage for Boys site, Southall, c.1895.

On September 18th, 1914, St Mary's was certified as an Industrial School for Roman Catholic boys under the age of 10 at their date of admission. The St Mary's Orphanage for Girls at Walthamstow was similarly certified on the same day.

St Mary's gave up its Industrial School status in 1929. It continued to operate for some years as an institution for Catholic boys from what was now the Public Assistance system and was under the inspection of the Ministry of Health. In 1935, it had 300 places for boys aged 3 to 14 at their date of admission.

The premises were later occupied by British European Airways as a training centre. The building no longer exists and modern office blocks now cover the site.


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  • None identified at present.