St Mark's County Home / Home for Girls, Carnarvon, Carnarvonshire, Wales
The St Mark's Home for Girls was founded in around 1880 and had premises somewhere in Carnarvon (the then usual Anglicised spelling of Caernarfon). It was originally known as St Mark's County Home for Destitute Girls of Carnarvonshire.
In 1889, the Home became officially accredited as a Certified School, allowing it to receive girls from the workhouse system, placed by Boards of Guardians for a weekly payment.
In May, 1890, the Home relocated to 13 South Road, Carnarvon. The property could accommodate 18 girls, who were aged from 6 to 14 at their time of admission.
In 1893, the running of the home was taken over by the Waifs and Strays Society.
The St Mark's Home operated in conjunction with the St Mark's Nursery Home at Tregarth, also taken over by the Society in 1893. Girls from Tregarth were transferred to the Carnarvon Home at the age of 11.
The girls at St Mark's were prepared for an eventual life in domestic service and trained in housework, laundry work and cooking.
The St Mark's Home closed in 1924. According to one newspaper report, this was apparently because of lack of funds.
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.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Block A Floor 2, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clement's Road, London, England SE16 4DG (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
- Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.
- Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
- Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.