Ancestry UK

Boys' Home Industrial School, Wandsworth, London

The Boys' Home Industrial School was established in 1867 in part of the premises at Bridge House, Wandsworth, then occupied by the Wandsworth Boys' Home Reformatory. When the Reformatory moved to new premises the following year, it was initially intended to discontinue the Industrial School. However, as proposals for other Industrial School accommodation in the county had not materialised, the Surrey magistrates requested the continuance of the Bridge Street establishment.

The Bridge House site is shown on the 1868 map below.

Wandsworth Boys' Home Reformatory site, Wandsworth Common, c.1868.

After the two institutions separated, overall management of both remained with Mr John Leyland. Mr and Mrs Wren were appointed as superintendent and matron of the Industrial School, assisted by Mr Eastgate, with a tailor and shoemaker each visiting once a week. A new superintendent and schoolmaster, Mr Gibson, was appointed in the summer of 1859, with his wife as matron.

An inspection of the Bridge House site in November, 1869, recorded 98 boys in residence. The tailor and shoemaker were now attending two days a week each. Wood-chopping had been added to the boys' industrial activities and a labour master, Mr Herring, had been appointed. It was noted that the garden, grounds and workshops had recently been flooded by a high tide. The frequency of such occurrences had reached the point where a move to a more healthy locality was being planned.

An inspection in December, 1869, reported 132 inmates. The educational state of the boys was found to be unsatisfactory due, it was suggested, to the number in the School now being too many for a single teacher.

New premises for the School were subsequently found at Byfleet and Bridge House was formally closed on August 21st, 1871. The buildings no longer exist.


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