Ancestry UK

Princess Louise Home, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

The Princess Louise Home, originally known as the Woodhouse Home, was established in 1835 and was run by the National Society for the Protection of Young Girls (NSPYG). Its object was 'to provide a home, education, and industrial training for young girls — not thieves — who are in danger of becoming abandoned.'

In 1893, the Home moved from its previous location at Wanstead to new base at Gloucester Road, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. The new premises could accommodate up to 100 girls, aged from 10 to 15 years at their date of admission.

The Home's site is shown on the 1913 map below.

Princess Louise Home site, Kingston upon Thames, c.1913.

Princess Louise Home, Kingston upon Thames, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

Admission to the Home was decided by its Committee, on the recommendation of a subscriber to the charity or a clergyman. A payment of 4s. a week was required, a fee of £13 per annum charged for girls placed by Boards of Guardians. A few free cases were also received.

As well as receiving a basic classroom education, the girls were trained for domestic service. Except under special circumstances, no girl was allowed to leave until she was qualified for service. A suitable situation was found for each girl leaving, and an outfit provided. Prizes were awarded annually for continued good conduct in service.

Princess Louise Home, Kingston upon Thames, c.1905. © Peter Higginbotham

By the 1930s, the NSPYG was in financial difficulties and closed the Kingston home in 1933. Two years later, the Society merged with the Shaftesbury Homes whose Esher Place home was then renamed Esher Place (Princess Louise Home for Girls).

The Kingston premises were taken over by Barnardo's and became their Dalziel of Wooler Memorial Home. The building no longer survives.


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