Ancestry UK

Ashburton House Industrial School for Roman Catholic Girls, Gosforth, Northumberland

The Ashburton House Industrial School for Roman Catholic Girls (also known as St Elizabeth's House) was founded in 1884, complementing the nearby Chadwick Memorial Industrial School for Roman Catholic Boys which had been established just over a year earlier. Ashburton House, an old private residence, stood on Elmfield Road, Gosforth, and was officially certified to operate as an Industrial School on January 30th, 1884. It could accommodate up to 100 girls up to the age of 12 at their time of admission.

The School's first Matron was Mrs Hamilton, with Miss Radford as Schoolmistress. In November, 1885, however, the running of the institution was taken over by the Sisters of Charity, with their Sister Superior, Sister Winifred Dymock, in charge.

As well as receiving classroom lessons, girls at the School were all taught to sew and knit. The older girls assisted in the work of the house and doing all the washing and cooking.

For physical exercise, the girls were trained by an army drill instructor and learned routines involving marching, dumb-bells and clubs. They were also drilled each day by one of the Sisters.

The School had some farm land attached which was cultivated by boys from the Chadwick Memorial establishment.

The School was closed in 1906 and the girls then in residence were transferred to Darlington. Ashburton House was demolished in around 1907.


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