Ancestry UK

Church Army Labour and Lodging Home / Violet Wills School, Bristol, Gloucestershire

In April, 1901, the Duchess of Beaufort opened a new Church Army Labour and Lodging Home at 3 Brunswick Square, Bristol. The establishment provided short-term hostel accommodation for men, who were helped to find work and a more permanent residence. In 1909, the Home advertised 'Lodgings for respectable single men; reading room, kitchen. 4d. and 6d. per night, or 2s. and 3s. per week.'

In 1935, the premises were reconstructed to provide a home and hostel for women. The new establishment accommodated up to 63 women and girls, and its facilities included a laundry, kitchen, bathrooms, and a small chapel which had previously been used by the men as a skittle alley. A significant contribution to the costs of the new hostel was made by Miss Violet Wills, a member of the tobacco manufacturing family.

On 14th April, 1938, the premises were certified for use as an Approved School for Girls. It was initially named the Violet Wills School but in December, 1939, was renamed The Bryanston House School.

Not long afterwards, the School was forced to vacate the Brunswick Square site which was needed to make way for a new road scheme. It subsequently transferred its operation to a property in Nottingham which adopted the Bryanston House name.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.


  • Lynch, Donald Chariots of the Gospel. The Centenary History of the Church Army (1982, H.E. Walter)
  • Rowan, Edage Wilson Carlile and the Church Army (1905, The Church Army)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Hyland,Jim Yesterday's Answers: Yesterday's Answers: Development and Decline of Schools for Young Offenders (1993, Whiting and Birch)
  • Millham, S, Bullock, R, and Cherrett, P After Grace — Teeth: a comparative study of the residential experience of boys in Approved Schools (1975, Chaucer Publishing)
  • The Church Army, Wilson Carlile Centre, 50 Cavendish Street, Sheffield S3 7RZ.