Priory Farm, Studley, Warwickshire
In 1945, the Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society bought the Priory Farm at Studley, on the Warwickshire/Worcestershire border. The farm's 250 acres were to be provide training and work experience for boys from the Father Hudson's Homes at Coleshill who were interested in a career in agriculture. Boys at the farm learned the skills of cereal growing, dairying, poultry keeping, and market gardening. The Priory farmhouse could accommodate up to ten boys, providing them with hostel-style accommodation under the supervision of a resident warden.
After 1960, the farm's training role ended, with boys interested in farming now being sent to an agricultural college. The farmhouse then became a family-group home superintended by Mr and Mrs Lake until its closure following their retirement in 1980. The farmland had been sold off five years earlier.
The property is now privately owned.
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.
The Father Hudson's 'Origins' service can provide access to records relating to children whom the Society placed for adoption or who were in its care, including those who were migrated to Canada or Australia. The establishments for which the Society may hold records are:
- Francis Way Mother and Baby Home, 124 Four Ashes Road, Bentley Heath, Knowle, Warwickshire.
- Woodville Mother and Baby Home, 176 Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham.
- St Edward's Boys Home, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
- St George's and St James' Cottage Homes, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
- St Joan's and the Nursery, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
- St Paul's, High Street, Coleshill.
- St Andrew's, Blythe Road, Coleshill.
- St Vincent's Working Boys Hostel, 102 Moseley Road, Birmingham.
- Manresa Working Girls Hostel, Vernon Road, Edgbaston.
They may also have records if the Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society placed you with:
- Maryvale Nursery, Old Oscott Hill, Kingstanding, Birmingham.
- Nazareth House, Rednal, Birmingham
- Pallotti Hall, Siddington, Nr Macclesfield
- St Joseph's, Jesson Road, Walsall.
To make an enquiry/application regarding records, download and complete the relevant application form from the Father Hudson's website. A charge is made for dealing with some types of enquiry.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Pinches, Sylvia M. Father Hudson and His Society: A History 1898-1998 (1998, Archdiocese of Birmingham Historical Commission)
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.