Ancestry UK

Clergy Orphanage for Girls, Manordilo, Carmarthenshire

The Clergy Orphan Society was founded in 1749 to maintain and educate the orphaned (i.e. fatherless) children of Anglican clergymen, with subscribers to its funds including King George III and Princess Amelia. Initially, the charity paid for children to be educated at existing schools, beginning on May 30th, 1751, when John Pyrke was sent to a school in Thirsk, Yorkshire. The Society subsequently established its own School at Acton, in Middlesex. In 1805, it was agreed that the charity's objects should be to teach the orphan children humility, obedience, courtesy and submission to parents and superiors, and also to give them enough education to enable them to become useful members of society. Accordingly the curriculum was just to include reading, writing and basic arithmetic only.

In 1809, the Society was reconstituted as the Clergy Orphan Corporation. Three years later, the School moved to new, purpose-built premises at St John's Wood, adjacent to the Lord's Cricket Ground. The accommodation at St John's Wood eventually became insufficient and on October 2nd, 1855, the boys were relocated to new premises at St Thomas Hill, Canterbury. The girls remained at St John's Wood until the 1890s, moving to a new site at Bushey, Hertfordshire, in 1897.

In the early 1900s, the Corporation established an orphanage or school for girls in a property known as Gwestfa at Manordilo (now usually spelled Manordeilo) near Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire. Its location is shown on the 1906 map below.

Clergy Orphanage site, Manordilo, c.1906.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.


  • None identified at present.