Ancestry UK

Wilberforce Diocesan House of Refuge, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland

The Wilberforce Diocesan House of Refuge was established in 1903 by the Newcastle Diocesan Association for Preventive and Rescue Work, a group founded by Colonel Coulson and Mr Pumphrey. The Association also ran the Newcastle Diocesan Lodge. The Refuge, a Magdalen Home for 'fallen' girls and women, was named after Ernest Wilberforce, the Bishop of Newcastle from 1882 to 1896. It initially occupied premises at 124 Westmoreland Road, Newcastle, providing temporary accommodation for up to 8 inmates.

In 1918, the Refuge moved to new premises at 41-43 Jesmond Road, Newcastle, where up to 13 places were provided.

By 1935, the Refuge was operating at Clifton House, 54 Clifton Road, Newcastle. It could now accommodate up to fourteen preventive and rescue cases, aged under 35 at their date of admission. Those from the diocese were accommodated free.

By 1949, the Refuge had become a Mother and Baby Home, providing a shelter and before-and-after care for up to ten unmarried mothers and six babies. The establishment appears to have closed by 1953.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.


  • None identified at present.