St Elizabeth's Special School for Roman Catholic Epileptic Children, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire
St Elizabeth's Home for Roman Catholic Epileptics was opened in 1903 at Perry Green, near Much Hadham. It was run by the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross of Liège. Following the 1908 Children's Act, which made provision for Industrial Schools to be established for children with particular mental or physical problems, St Elizabeth's became a Special School for the reception of children with epilepsy. On November 4th, 1909, it was certified to receive up to 30 boys and 30 girls aged from 7 to 16 years. St Elizabeth's housed epileptics of all ages, but the School buildings formed a distinct section of the institution.
The St Elizabeth's site is shown on the 1921 map below.
In 1911, there were 22 boys and 27 girls in the School, most of whom were voluntary cases; only one boy and three girls were under care as committed cases. There were 18 Sisters in residence, two of whom were trained nurses, and two certificated teachers. The Sisters were assisted in their work by a number of lay helpers, two trained nurses, one certificated teacher, one instructor in basket-work and chair-caning, and three maids. During the year, two new infirmary wards were added to the building.
In 1929, the establishment also became a Certified School, allowing it to receive children boarded out from workhouses by the Poor Law authorities. It resigned its Industrial School certificate in April, 1932, but continued to operate as a Certified School — in 1935, its acccommodation for this purpose was 160 places.
Now known as the St Elizabeth's Centre, the establishment continues to provide education, care and support services for those suffering from epilepsy.
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.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Mahood, Linda Policing Gender, Class and Family: Britain, 1850-1940 (1995, Univeristy of Alberta Press)
- Prahms, Wendy Newcastle Ragged and Industrial School (2006, The History Press)
- St Elizabeth's Centre
- None noted at present.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.