Ancestry UK

Ribblesdale/Riversmead, Grindleton, near Clitheroe, Lancashire

In 1923, the National Children's Home (NCH) opened its Ribblesdale branch home in a property on Sawley Road at Grindleton, near Clitheroe in Lancashire. The home could accommodate seventy children aged from 6 to 14 years.

Ribblesdale/Riversmead Home, Grindleton, c.1929. © Peter Higginbotham

From around 1937, the home was closed for a period then re-opened under the name Riversmead as a residential home/school for refugee Jewish boys from Germany and Austria. The home's first intake of thirty-five boys, aged from 9 to 16, arrived from Vienna in June 1939.

The home closed on 11th July 1942 with the remaining boys being transferred to smaller premises in Blackburn which took on the name Riversmead. The Sawley property was then used for the accommodation of babies but later became a local authority school also known as Riversmead.

The site is now occupied by the Bowland High School.


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.

  • Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home). Can provide access to their own records for individuals who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Help also for those searching for family history information.


  • Bradfield, William The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913, Kelly)
  • Curnock, Nehemiah The Story of the Children's Home (C.H. Kelly, 1901)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Horner, Francis Shadow and Sun (Epworth Press, 1920)
  • Howard, Philip J Philip: a Strange Child (Dalkeith Publishing, 2007)
  • Philpot, Terry Action For Children (Lion, 1994)
  • Walpole, Cecil F. Golden Links (Epworth Press, 1941)