Old Mill Reformatory for Boys, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
In 1839, Dr George Watt bequeathed the Old Mill (or Oldmill) estate, two miles to the west of Aberdeen, to extend the work of the city's House of Refuge. However, no use was made of the land until 1855 when a public meeting resolved that an establishment should be built to reform boys who had been convicted of crime. In December 1855, construction work began on the new building and on March 9th, 1857, the Old Mill Reformatory was officially certified to accommodate up 150 boys, aged 10 to 16, who had been sentenced by the courts to detention for between two and five years.
The location of the home is shown on the 1867 map below.
By 1897, the institution had accumulated considerable debts and was closed the following year. The site was acquired by Aberdeen Parish Council and the buildings were demolished to make way for the new Aberdeen Poorhouse (later Oldmill Hospital).
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.
- None identfied at present — any information welcome.
- Carpenter, Mary Reformatory Schools, for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes, and for Juvenile Offenders (1851, General Books; various reprints available)
- Carlebach, Julius Caring for Children in Trouble (1970, Routledge & Kegan Paul)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Abel Smith, Doroth Crouchfield: A History of the Herts Training School 1857-1982 (2008, Able Publishing)
- Garnett, Emmeline Juvenile offenders in Victorian Lancashire: W J Garnnett and the Bleasdale Reformatory (2008, Regional Heritage Centre, Lancaster University)
- Hicks, J.D. The Yorkshire Catholic Reformatory, Market Weighton (1996, East Yorkshire Local History Society)
- Slocombe, Ivor Wiltshire Reformatory for Boys, Warminster, 1856-1924 (2005, Hobnob Press)
- Duckworth, J.S. The Hardwicke Reformatory School, Gloucestershire (in Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 1995, Vol. 113, 151-165)
- Red Lodge Museum, Bristol — a former girls' reformatory.
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