Ancestry UK

Orphanage and Training Home (Mr Fegan's), Southwark, London

On July 31st, 1882, following the expiry of the lease on the boys' home in Deptford run by James Fegan, the establishment transferred to new premises at 95 Southwark Street, Southwark. Located on a broad thoroughfare running parallel to the Thames from London Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge on the Surrey side, Fegan later described the home as 'the most centrally situated of all Rescue Homes in the great city.' The six-floor building could accommodate 150 boys who did not need seeking out, as had previously often been the case, but came of their own accord or were brought by the police.

95 Southwark Street, 2014.. © Peter Higginbotham

Boys at the home were taught various trades to enable them to earn their own livelihood. At one time, demand became so great that temporary premises had to be taken in an adjoining street for the shoemaking workshops. A printing department was also established in connection with the home. Some of the boys were also emigrated to Canada where Fegan had a Distributing Home in Toronto.

By 1912, the location of the home was no longer felt to be suitable and a site for new premises was found at 62-64 Horseferry Road, Westminster. The new, purpose-designed building was opened the following year and the Southwark Street home was then closed.

The Southwark Street building is now used as office accommodation.

Other homes run by Fegan were located at Greenwich, Ramsgate, Stony Stratford and Goudhurst.


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