Ancestry UK

Girls' Industrial Homes, Altrincham, Cheshire

In the early 1880s, Mr F.W. Crossley of Manchester established two Homes for Girls at separate sites on Ashley Road, Peel Causeway, Bowdon, near Altrincham.

The first of the Homes, sometimes referred to as the No. 1 Home, was erected in around 1881, at the north side of what is now the local bowling green. The second or No. 2 Home followed in around 1883 and was located just south of the junction with Harrop Road.

On October 28th, 1884, the No. 2 Home was officially certified to operate as an Industrial School, allowing the reception of girls sentenced by the courts to a period of detention. The School could accommodate up to 30 girls, aged under 10 years at their date of admission. The girls received training with a view to their employment in domestic service.

An inspection report of 1884 noted that "the premises consist of a very satisfactorily built house, the second of its kind, with well-considered accommodation of a superior character. The No. 1 house is intended for a better class of girls. The No. 2 is for a more degraded class of children, to meet a want much felt in the district." The School was superintended by Miss Emma Penniall, with Miss Knight as schoolmistress.

Former Girls' Industrial Home No. 2, Altrincham, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Former Girls' Industrial Home No. 2, Altrincham, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

By around 1890, the number of girls being placed by the courts had become very low and the No. 2 Home gave up its Industrial School certification. It was subsequently loaned to the Manchester and Salford Police for use as an orphanage. The property later adopted the name St Baldred's Hall and from around 1925 until 2008 was home to the Hale Conservative Club. During the Second World War, a school evacuated from Guernsey was temporarily accommodated in the building.

The No. 1 Home continued in operation until around 1913 with its matron for many years being Miss Alice Death (or Deathe). The building was then taken over as offices by Hale Council but was demolished in 1970. The Ashley Hotel now stands on the site.


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