Ancestry UK

Ashley Combe, Porlock Weir, Somerset

In 1939, a Barnardo's wartime evacuation home was opened at Ashley Combe, a large old house on the Worthy Toll Road to the west of Porlock Weir. The house, built in 1799, was once the home of William King, the Earl of Lovelace, and his wife Ada. Ada Lovelace, as she is now usually known, worked with Charles Babbabge on his Analytical Engine and can perhaps claim to be the world's first computer programmer.

The home closed in 1950. After a period of use as a country club, the building was left empty and eventually demolished.


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.


  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)