The Chestnuts / Home for Servants and Infants, High Road, Tottenham, London
By the early 1890s, a Roman Catholic children's home had been established at 684 High Road, Tottenham. The establishment was variously known as The Chestnuts, and the Home for Servants and Infants. Run by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, it operated in association another of the order's institutions, the St Pelagia's Home at Highgate, for unmarried mothers and their babies. Although some of the mothers at St Pelagia's gave their babies up to be adopted, those that did not could keep them with them until they began work, though not beyond the age of two. The children were then transferred to The Chestnuts, where they could remain up until the age of ten. Once the mothers began work, usually in domestic service, they were expected to make a small contribution to their children's maintenance. Children at The Chestnuts were not taught in the home but attended a local Mission School.
The home was still in operation in 1920.
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- The Sisters of The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Chigwell Convent, 803 Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge, Essex IG8 8AU.
- London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB. (The Ancestry website also has LMA records relating to workhouses and other institutions — more details.) Has some correspondence and papers relating to the St Pelagia's Homes (ref: A/FWA/C/D/245/001)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- None identified at present.
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