Ancestry UK

Barnardo's Homes, Exeter, Devon

3 Bradninch Place

Barnardo's first home in Exeter, founded in 1894, was the Home for Orphan Girls at 3 Bradninch Place, off Gandy Street. It could accommodate up to 24 girls, with the preferred age on admission being from one to twelve years. The Matron in 1901 was Miss Bessie Loveys who, with the assistance of a single domestic servant provided a home for twenty girls (described as "institution protegé's") aged five to sixteen. The two eldest girls were said to be training for domestic service.

13-14 Clifton Hill

By 1912, the home had moved to 13-14 Clifton Hill, Exeter. It now housed up to 50 girls aged six to fifteen. In 1929, the home moved to new premises on Topsham Road. The Clifton Hill building is now in private residential use.

Feltrim, Topsham Road

The Topsham Road home was in a large house named Feltrim which stood between the present-day Norwood Avenue and Feltrim Avenue as shown on the 1932 map below.

Barnardo's Feltrim Home, Exeter, c.1932.

Barnardo's Home, Feltrim, Topsham Road, Exeter, c.1930. © Peter Higginbotham

Like Clifton Hill, Feltrim could house up to 50 girls aged six to fifteen. Feltrim was destroyed by a wartime air-raid in May 1942. At the end of the war in 1945, the home was re-opened in The Quarries, a house on Barley Lane, Dunsford Hill.

The Quarries, Barley Lane

The Quarries initially took girls aged from nine to sixteen then became a mixed home in 1954. In 1956, a nursery wing was added to accommodate for younger children.

The location of the home is shown on the 1956 map below.

The Quarries, Exeter site, c.1956.

The Quarries closed in 1970. The buildings and grounds have now been divided into a number of separate properties.


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.


  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)