Ancestry UK

St Joseph's School / Briars Hey Community Home, Rainhill, Lancashire

Prior to 1937, Briars Hey, a mansion on Mill Lane, Rainhill, was a private house. It was then acquired by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and became a convalescent home known as St Joseph's Heart Hospital School for Children. In the 1960s, it became a Home for girls, then was sold to Liverpool Corporation in 1970. The council converted the site for use as a Community Home with Education, housing up to 25 'maladjusted' Roman Catholic girls. The facilities included a secure unit known as Orchard House for girls regarded as needing additional restrictions. Following local government reorganisation in 1974, the site was taken over by Lancashire County Council.

After the home closed in 2004, the property — now a listed building — was acquired by Raphael Healthcare who intended to develop specialist secure services the site. Following their failure to obtain planning approval for their plans, the site was taken over by another company, Montpelier Estates, who gained approval for a 13-bedded adolescent service.


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  • Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2RE. Records (1989-2003) include minutes and notes on the history of Briars Hey.


  • None identified at present.