Ancestry UK

Sheffield Ever Open Door, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire

In 1904, a Barnardo's 'Ever Open Door' was established 81-83 William Street, Sheffield. It was the fifteenth such establishments to be set up in Britain's provincial towns and cities and followed on from those already opened in Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Sheffield and Southampton. The Ever Open Door houses, with their slogan 'No Destitute Child Ever Refused Admission', were open twenty-four hours a day and provided short-term shelter for homeless youngsters while consideration was given to their future, which would generally be in a long-term Barnardo home or emigration to Canada.

The William Ever Open Door could accommodate up to twenty children with the maximum age of admission being 15. The building no longer survives.

In 1916, the home relocated to 253 Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield, a house dating from around 1825. Its location is shown on the 1923 map below.

Sheffield Ever Open Door site, 1923.

The home closed in 1947 and was subsequently used as a vicarage. In more recent times, the property, now a listed building, has been known as Kashmir House and used for office accommodation.

Former Ever Open Door, Sheffield, 2013. © Peter Higginbotham


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)