Ealing House Home for Girls, Ealing, Middlesex
The Ealing House home for girls was opened in July, 1867, by The National Refuges for Homeless and Destitute Children (later known as the Shaftesbury Homes). It replaced the charity's girls' home at Acton which, since the expiry of its lease the previous year, had been operating in temporary premises on Greville Road, Kilburn.
Ealing House, on St Mary's Road, Esher, cost £2,200 and comprised a large and substantial old-fashioned residence with two acres of garden and kitchen ground. The home was formally opened by the Earl of Shaftesbury in August 1867. Almost immediately, plans were made to add two new wings to the building at a further cost of £1,000. The extensions were opened the following July, with Lord Shaftesbury again officiating. The home could now accommodate a total of 100 girls, aged 10 to 12 at their time of admission.
The School site is shown on the 1896 map below.
After the First World War, in an effort to break down its institutional atmosphere, the girls at Ealing House were encouraged to form greater contact with the local community. A Girl Guides company was started, in which the girls participated with great enthusiasm. Several won prizes for good essays, and at a rally of neighbouring companies, Ealing achieved third position for efficiency.
In 1930, Ealing House was closed and the girls moved to the large new home being at Esher.
Ealing House was subsequently converted to residential use and renamed Ealing Court Mansions, which still stands today.
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.
- The London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HB now holds the archives of the Shaftesbury Homes and Arethusa Training Ship. More details in their online catalogue entry.
- Bailey, Marion Chance of a Lifetime - the Story of the Shaftesbury Homes and Arethusa (1996, Dianthus Publishing)
- Cuthbert, V Where Dreams Come True: A Record of 95 Years (1937, London: Shaftesbury Homes and "Arethusa" Training Ship)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Hodder, Edwin The Life and Work of the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G. (1886, Cassell)
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