Ancestry UK

All Saints' Homes, London Colney, Hertfordshire

The Anglican order of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor was founded in 1851, in the London parish of All Saints, Margaret Street. The object of the Sisterhood was the care of aged and infirm persons, of the poor, and of orphans. In 1901, the Sisters took possession of a newly built convent on Shenley Lane, London Colney, Hertfordshire, which became the order's mother house. By 1908, an orphanage was in operation at the site, in a block known as St Gabriel's, where 40 children could be accommodated. In 1924, an additional wing named St Raphael's was erected. Children from All Saints' attended local schools.

Aerial view of All Saints' Homes, London Colney. © Peter Higginbotham

By 1939, the All Saints' Home was recorded as being for 60 girls, aged from 3 to 14, with payment required of a one guinea entrance fee, then £26 per annum. A separate department, known as the All Saints' Training Home, provided preparation for domestic service for girls over 14, with a similar rate of payment required. At this date, the order operated a "Home and Hospital for Little Boys" at Eastbourne.

In 1956, the children's home was now referred to as St Raphael's and received girls aged from 2 to 15 and boys from 3 to 9. Payment of up to £3. 5s. a week was requested. The Training Home now took girls over 15, again with a weekly payment of £3. 5s. requested.

In 1963, St Raphael's and St Gabriels were described as "twin family group homes for normal, healthy boys and girls between the ages of 2 and 15 who are orphans or whose parents cannot provide a satisfactory home for them during their school years." There were 12 children in each self-contained group, with the usual age of admission being between 2 and 8 years. The weekly fee was now four guineas.

All Saints' main building, London Colney, 2014. © Peter Higginbotham

All Saints' chapel, London Colney, 2014. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1973, the increasing cost of upkeep forced the sisters to sell the site. It was acquired by the Catholic Diocese of Westminster and became the All Saints Pastoral Centre. The site was sold to property developers in 2013.


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