Cornwall Home for Destitute Little Girls / Royal Cornwall Home for Girls, Falmouth, Cornwall
The Cornwall Home for Destitute Little Girls was founded in 1868 to afford 'a home for those destitute little girls who, through the misconduct or inability of their natural guardians, have been thrown from their early years on the streets.'
In October 1871, the Home opened premises at Bellevue Terrace (now part of Trevethan Road), Falmouth, where up to 40 inmates could be accommodated.
The age of admission was from 6 to 10 years, with complete destitution being the sole qualification for free admission. Where there were several candidates, the most helpless and neglected were given priority, irrespective of their parentage. Fatherless girls, whose mothers were dependent on their own earnings for subsistence, were eligible, the mother making a weekly payment as the determined by the Committee; for motherless girls, a weekly payment by the father of 2s. 6d. was required. Any destitute girl whose friends could raise 2s. 6d. per week was admitted if their was room. By 1907, girls placed by Boards of Guardians were being accepted. In all cases, a doctor's certificate was required, stating that the child has been vaccinated, and was not suffering from any infectious disease.
In 1899, by consent of the Princess of Wales, the Home was renamed the Royal Cornwall Home for Destitute Little Girls, later becoming known as the Royal Cornwall Home for Girls.
The establishment, by then referred to as Trevethan House, finally closed in around 1973. In more recent times, the property has been used as a hostel for young people.
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.
- Cornwall Archives, Kresen Kernow, Little Vauxhall, Redruth TR15 1AS. Has an Annual Report (1946-7) and a plan of the property. In 1977, it was noted that Minute Books and a Register of Inmates (1868-1966) had been acquired by the Record Office but these appear to have disappeared.
- 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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