Ancestry UK

Ashurst Home for Girls, Ashurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

The Ashurst Home for Girls was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1884 at Church Villa, Ashurst, near Tunbridge Wells. On March 28th, 1884, the home received its official certification to operate as an Industrial School, allowing magistrates to place girls there for offences such as vagrancy, begging, living in a brothel or associating with prostitutes, or having committed an imprisonable offence while under the age of twelve. The home provided accommodation for up to 18 girls, aged from 12 to 14.

The girls at Ashurst did all the work of the house including cleaning, cooking and laundry. They were also taught needlework and knitting. Official inspections, though, highlighted ongoing problems at the home. The building was in poor repair and had a damp basement, the drainage was bad, and the quality of the water supply suspect. There was also been a high turnover of staff at the home. Eventually, the Society decided that it was fighting a losing battle and the home was closed in June, 1888.


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