Orphanage for Roman Catholic Children, Rothesay, Bute, Scotland
In 1882, the Marchioness of Bute founded an orphanage for Roman Catholic children. It occupied a property known as Bellevue House, on Barone Road, Rothesay, which had originally formed part of the Rothesay Cotton Works. The establishment was run by Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart and initially housed up to sixteen girls.
The orphanage site is shown on the 1896 map below.
Subsequently, the accommodation was considerably enlarged. In 1901, the orphanage had a staff of seven sisters. The inmates included 79 girls, 37 of whom aged 14 to 24 were occupied as 'stocking knitters'; the remaining 42, aged 5 to 15, were listed as 'scholars'. There were now also 44 boys aged 4 to 16, all of whom were listed as 'scholars'. In 1911, there were still 7 sisters, and 90 girls, but boys no longer formed part of the establishment.
In 1930, the Society of the Scared Heart decided to concentrate its activities in the south of England and the Rothesay orphanage was closed.
The property is now occupied by the Bute Fabrics company.
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.
- 1901 Census (courtesy of Neil Bowie)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Thanks to Neil Bowie for information on the orphanage.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.