Ancestry UK

St Anne's Orphanage for Girls, Orpington, Kent

The St Anne's Orphanage (or Home) for Roman Catholic Girls was established in 1903 at Sevenoaks Road, Orpington, on a site adjacent to St Joseph's Orphanage for Boys.

On 28th September, 1903, St Anne's was formally accredited as a Certified School, allowing it to receive girls boarded out by the workhouse authorities. In 1912, the premises could accommodate 146 girls, aged from 3 to 16 at their date of admission. A charge of 7s. a week was made for each girl, with inmates being taken from any Board of Guardians in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

As well as classroom and religious education, girls at St Anne's were given industrial training in domestic skills.

The two Schools are shown on the 1909 map below.

St Joseph's and St Anne's Orphanages, Orpington, c.1909.

On February 7th, 1938, St Anne's was certified for use as an Approved School for Girls. On April 6th, 1950, it was announced that the managers of the School had decided to resign its certificate.

The premises were later occupied by St Anne's RC Primary School. The buildings no longer survive and modern housing now stands on the site.


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  • Diagrama (formerly Cabrini), 49 Russell Hill Road, Purley, Surrey CR8 2XB. Cabrini holds records for children adopted through:
    • Cabrini Children's Society
    • Catholic Children's Society
    • Southwark Catholic Children's Society
    • Southwark Catholic Rescue Society
    • Portsmouth Diocesan Catholic Child Welfare Society


  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Hyland,Jim Yesterday's Answers: Yesterday's Answers: Development and Decline of Schools for Young Offenders (1993, Whiting and Birch)
  • Millham, S, Bullock, R, and Cherrett, P After Grace — Teeth: a comparative study of the residential experience of boys in Approved Schools (1975, Chaucer Publishing)