Ancestry UK

Marie Hall Home / Danesford School, Congleton, Cheshire

The Marie Hall home for boys, at West House, West Road, Congleton, was established in 1920 as a branch of the National Children's Home (NCH). It was founded through a donation by Mr John Hall. The home could accommodate 140 boys aged up to 14 years.

Marie Hall Home from the south-east, Congleton, 1920s. © Peter Higginbotham

In August 1935, the home was certified as a Junior Approved School for boys up to the age of 13. Danesford School, as it became known, was one of several Approved Schools run by NCH, the others being at Farnborough, Carmarthen, Penarth and Seaton in Devon, the latter being for girls.

In 1973, following the abolition of Approved Schools, Danesford was revamped as a new-style Community Home with Education (CHE), jointly under the control of NCH and Cheshire County Council.

The property, a listed building, has now been converted to residential use.

Former Danesford School from the south-east, Congleton, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Former Danesford School from the north, Congleton, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Former Danesford School from the south-east, Congleton, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham

Two adjacent properties were used as hostels by the School. Westholm (to the west) is now used as a church, while Woodlands (to the east) is now a pub.

Former Westholm hostel, Congleton, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham


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.

  • Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home). Can provide access to their own records for individuals who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Help also for those searching for family history information.


  • Bradfield, William The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913, Kelly)
  • Curnock, Nehemiah The Story of the Children's Home (C.H. Kelly, 1901)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Horner, Francis Shadow and Sun (Epworth Press, 1920)
  • Howard, Philip J Philip: a Strange Child (Dalkeith Publishing, 2007)
  • Philpot, Terry Action For Children (Lion, 1994)
  • Walpole, Cecil F. Golden Links (Epworth Press, 1941)