Sheffield Council Homes

In 1930, following the abolition of the Sheffield and Ecclesall Bierlow Poor Law Unions, the Sheffield Corporation took over responsibility for the administration of poor relief in the city. This included the children's homes previously run by the two unions, which now came under the management of the council's new Public Assistance Committee.

The homes initially operated by the council are listed below.

LocationPlaces
Fulwood Cottage Homes295
Headquarters Homes, Smilter Lane (now Herries Road)95
Receiving Home, Smilter Lane20
Residential Nursery, Smilter Lane68
14 Abbeyfield Road11
16 Abbeyfield Road11
23 Hucklow Road Road11
25 Hucklow Road11
71 Scott Road10
73 Scott Road10
399 City Road11
401 City Road11
15 Manor Lane11
17 Manor Lane11
521 City Road11
523 City Road11
75 Duchess Road11
77 Duchess Road11
278 Edmund Road11
280 Edmund Road11
110 Heeley Bank Road11
112 Heeley Bank Road11
196 Heeley Bank Road11
198 Heeley Bank Road11
Working Boys' Home, 279-281 Grimesthorpe Road11

Former Fulwood Cottage Homes, 2006. © Peter Higginbotham

"Scattered homes at 71-73 Scott Road, c.1903. © Peter Higginbotham

By the start of the Second World War, all the scattered homes had closed and children were no longer being housed at the Smilter Lane site. The Fulwood cottage homes provided the bulk of the council's children's accommodation, supplemented by Thornseat (or Thornsett) Lodge, a remotely situated house near Bradfield, at the edge of the Peak District.

Thornseat Lodge, Higher Bradfield, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Following the passing of the 1948 Children Act, councils were required to provide care services for all needy children in their area, especially those who lacked a normal family home. In common with other local authorities, the council established a new Children's Committee, whose responsibilities had previously been spread across separate Health, Education and Social Welfare Committees. As well as the Fulwood cottage homes (by then renamed Blackbrook Mount) and Thornseat Lodge, the new Children's Department also became responsible for the Boys' Remand Home at Shirecliffe Lane, the Girls' Remand Home at 'The Dene', 104 Upperthorpe, a residential nursery at Moss Limb Lane, Dore, and a Reception Centre at 23 Broomgrove Road.

By 1956, new homes had been established at 99 Halifax Road, Grenoside, and 94 Stradbroke Drive, Sheffield. In 1959, a further home had been opened at 35 Broomgrove Road.

The conversion of Blackbrook Mount to the Moorside Approved School for Girls in 1960 was accompanied by the opening of around a dozen new small homes around the city. These were located at:

33 Blackstock Road, Sheffield
12 Morland Drive, Sheffield
172-174 Reney Avenue, Sheffield
89-91 Beaumont Road North, Sheffield
52 Everingham Crescent, Sheffield
2 North Hill Road, Sheffield
37 Halsall Avenue, Sheffield
45 Mather Road, Sheffield
46 Richmond Park Drive, Sheffield
5 Richmond Park Close, Sheffield
414 Halifax Road, Grenoside, Sheffield
Nursery, 16 Hallamgate Road, Sheffield

172-174 Reney Avenue, Sheffield, 2014. © Peter Higginbotham

In the 1960s, a number of changes took place in the other types of accommodation run by the Children's Department. By 1964, a Mother and Baby Home was opened at 19-21 Hucklow Road, Sheffield. 'The Dene', at 104 Upperthorpe, became a boys' hostel. A girls' hostel was opened at 35 Broomgrove Road, later moving to 'Barncliffe', on Redmires Road. A mixed hostel was opened at Eastcliffe Lodge, on East Bank Road. The former nursery on Moss Limb Lane became a second Reception Centre, known as Rye Croft Glen. A Children's Centre was established at Todwick Grange, Sheffield Road Aston.

Sheffield was relatively unaffected by the local government reorganisation that took place in 1974, although the council did take over the home at 230 Lane End, Chapeltown, previously run by the West Riding County Council. Its provision for children and young people continued to expand, with its accommodation stock in 1977 listed below:

Ballifield Hall, Retford Road
89-91 Beaumont Road North
33 Blackstock Road
Oakfield House, 6 Broomhall Road
Osborn House, Burngreave Road
Lydgate, Cross Lane
52 Everingham Crescent
414 Halifax Road, Grenoside
16 Hallamgate Road
230 Lane End, Chapeltown
37 Halsall Avenue
46 Richmond Park Drive
Ryecroft Glen, Limb Lane
45 Mather Road
12 Morland Drive
2 North Hill Road
94 Stradbroke Drive
172-174 Reney Avenue
Thornseat Lodge, Bradfield
Nursery and Home, Chancet Wood Drive
Mother and Baby Home, 19 Hucklow Road
Richmond Reception Centre, 5 Richmond Park Close
Children's Centre, Todwick Grange, Sheffield Road, Aston
Boys' Remand Home, Shirecliffe House, Shirecliffe Lane
Boys' Hostel, The Dene, 104 Upperthorpe
Girls' Hostel, Barncliffe, Redmires Road
Mixed Hostel, Eastcliffe, East Bank Road
Moorside School, Blackbrook Road
Home for Mentally Handicapped Children, 336 Ringinglow Road

By 1983, a number of closures had taken place including 33 Blackstock Road, 6 Broomhall Road, 5 Richmond Park Close, 46 Richmond Park Drive and Thornseat Lodge. Provision for mentally handicapped children had expanded, however, with additional homes: Rushey Meadow on Bannererdale Road and Stratford House on Guildford View.

Composite list of children's establishments run (at some time in their history) by Sheffield Council.

* indicates link to pages on www.workhouses.org.uk.
indicates homes at some time also run by a county council.

Records

The involvement of local authorities in the running of children's homes dates from 1930, when they took over the running of the poor relief system previously administered by Boards of Guardians. Surviving records for council-run children's homes may be held in each council's own internal archives. Prior to 1991, however, when a legal requirement was introduced for councils to retain records of children leaving their care, the survival of such records is very variable. Contact details for local authorities in the UK can be found on the website of the Care Leavers Association (CLA). The CLA also provides guidance on accessing childhood care files, which are normally only open to the individuals they relate to.

Locating local authority records has been complicated by the various local government reorganizations that have taken place in recent times, such as the abolition of the London County Council in 1965, and the major nationwide restructuring in 1974 in which many administrative areas were created, amended or eliminated.

Older records may sometimes be placed with the relevant county or borough record office. Many of these repositories have online catalogues of their holdings and also contribute to the National Archives' Discovery database. Note that records containing personal data usually have access closed for a period of fifty years or more.

Older material relating to Sheffield Council homes may exist at:

Some records relating to council-run homes, for example inspection reports (though not resident lists etc.), are held by The National Archives (TNA). A closure period may apply to these records.

Bibliography