Ancestry UK

The Barnardo Story

The Girls' Village Home

Following the failure of his girls' "barrack" home at Mossford Lodge, Barnardo concluded that the girls needed a different style of care. He began laying plans for a cottage homes development on a plot of land adjacent to Mossford Lodge. This type of accommodation, which had originated on the continent, was just starting to be adopted in Britain, for example at the Farningham Home for Little Boys in Kent. It aimed to provide a more domestic scale of home, with a village-like arrangement of cottages, where the children would live in small family-style groups, each household under the supervision of a house-mother. Fund-raising efforts for the scheme eventually allowed the first thirteen cottages of the Girls' Village Home to be opened in July, 1876.

Girls' Village Home — ornamental gardens, no date. © Peter Higginbotham

The home eventually grew to include more than sixty cottages, housing around 1,500 girls. The site also included the home's own schools, library, church, and hospital and laundry.

Girls' Village Home aerial view from the south-west, date unknown. © Peter Higginbotham

Girls' Village Home ironing room, no date. © Peter Higginbotham