Ancestry UK

Magdalen Homes — Bedfordshire-Cumberland

Although the term 'Magdalen' home or institution has become particularly associated with Ireland's Magdalen laundries, it covers to a much wider range of establishments. Rather than indicating the nature of these institutions' facilities or regime, it reflects the circumstances of their inmates — girls and young women who had 'fallen' (or who were considered in danger of doing so), primarily those who had become pregnant or involved in prostitution. More...

Where applicable, the 'Places' column shows the accommodation provided for mothers and babies (exact figures could change over time).
Note that over the years, many institutions changed location and/or name, sometimes more than once. The accommodation provided, age of those admitted etc. at a home could also vary.


Name and LocationFounded/OpenedClosed/MovedClasses Received, Weekly fees, etc.PlacesAdmission Age
Bedford and County Girls' Home, 1 Hill Rise, Park Road North, Bedford193231 March 1957Mothers and babies; 12s. 6d. Maternity ward in the Home.16m/16bno limit
Bedford Shelter, 32 Brereton Road, Bedford19101919Fallen and preventive cases.12no limit
Bedford and County Home, 97 Ashbunham Road, Bedford19191932Mothers and babies; 10s. Maternity ward in the Home.12no limit
Luton Shelter, 13 Napier Road, Luton1921 Friendless and destitute girls; temporarily; Luton and Dunstable cases, free; others, from 5s.4under 25
Girls' Training Home, 27 Cardiff Grove, Lutonby 1912 Fallen and friendless; free.13no limit


Name and LocationFounded/OpenedClosed/MovedClasses Received, Weekly fees, etc.PlacesAdmission Age
St Agnes' Lodge, 1 Laburnham Road, Maidenhead1904 Fallen and destitute women; 5s; local cases free.715-25
St Agnes' Lodge, 52 Clare Road, Maidenheadby 1920 Fallen and destitute women; 5s; local cases free.215-25
Reading Shelter, 23 Russell Street, Readingby 19301947?Friendless and fallen; temporarily.8no limit
St Monica's, 37 Christchurch Road, Readingby 1949  x 
Reading Shelter, 41 Russell Street, Reading1911 Friendless and fallen; temporarily.6no limit
St Mary's Home, 53-55 Baker Street, Reading1872 Fallen girls, daughters of the poor; remain two years. 17-20
The Refuge, 59 Castle Street, Reading1878 Local penitentiary cases or discharged prisoners; temporarily; preventive cases 6s. to 10s.314-35
Reading Female Aid Society Shelter, 6 Zinzan Street, Reading1854 Fallen and friendless women; temporarily.9no limit
Reading Laundry Home, 61 Castle Street, Reading1891 Fallen women and discharged prisoners; from a distance, entrance fee, £5 5s.14Elderly
Rescue Home, Norwood House, King's Road, Readingby 1890  50 
Reading Female Home, Redlands Villa, 4 New Road, Southern Hill, Reading1871 Fallen women; temporarily.16under 20
St Mary's Training Home, Challow Road, Wantage16 July 1935 Fallen women; entrance fee if possible; remain two years.6615-24
Windsor Refuge, Cambridge Villa, Dorset Road, Windsorby 1920 Rescue and preventive cases; free from Windsor; diocesan cases, 3s. 6d.; others 5s.6under 30
House of Mercy, Hatch Lane, Clewer, Windsor1849 Fallen women; remain at least two years.8617-40
Windsor Refuge, St Michael's, Dorset Road, Windsorby 1930 Rescue and preventive cases; free from Windsor and district; diocesan cases, 3s. 6d.; others by arrangement.6under 30
Wellesley Home Refuge / Preventive Training Home, Vansittart Road, Clewer, Windsor1882 Fallen women; 2s. 6d.; from Windsor free. A few permanent cases received, others sent to Homes.12under 30
Windsor Shelter, Winton Cottage, 92 Alma Road, Windsorby 1912 Rescue and preventive cases; 6s.; local cases free.2under 30


Name and LocationFounded/OpenedClosed/MovedClasses Received, Weekly fees, etc.PlacesAdmission Age
Mid-Bucks Maternity Home, 33 Bicester Road, Aylesbury1928 Unmarried expectant mothers; first time only; 10s. from diocese; others 12s. 6d.6under 30
Ayelsbury Shelter, Putnam House, 35 Bicester Road, Aylesbury1919 Rescue and preventive cases; temporarily. Local cases 3s. 6d.; others 10s.6no limit
North Bucks Shelter, 10 High Street, Fenny Stratford  Fallen and preventive cases.4 
Slough Girls' Welcome, 3 Belgrave Place, Uxbridge Road, Slough1919 Rescue and preventive cases; free, from the locality; others, according to circumstances.6under 30


Name and LocationFounded/OpenedClosed/MovedClasses Received, Weekly fees, etc.PlacesAdmission Age
Shelter for Girls, 13 Hertford Street, Cambridge19221924Fallen or friendless women; temporarily; 7s. 6d.9under 25
Shelter for Girls, 14 Downing Street, Cambridge18541922Fallen or friendless women; temporarily; 7s. 6d.9under 25
Cambridge Female Refuge / Home of Mercy, 19 Church (now Christchurch) Street, Cambridge1838 From the diocese of Ely, free; other cases £5 per annum when possible. Must remain two years.2515-22
Church Street Mission, 26 Newmarket Road, Cambridgeby 1912By 1920Fallen or friendless women; temporarily; 5s.9 
Ely Diocesan Maternity Home, 48 Bateman Street, Cambridge1920early 1970sUnmarried mothers with first child. Diocesan cases,10s.; others, 12s.14m/10b15-30
Shelter for Girls, 6 Glisson Road, Cambridge19251927Fallen or friendless women; temporarily; 7s. 6d.9under 25
Undergraduates' House of Rescue, Rock End, Histon Road, Cambridge1886 Fallen women. Cases from a distance 5s. per week. Remain six to eight months. no limit
Ely Diocesan Refuge, The Haven, Ely  Fallen and friendless girls, temporarily; non-diocesan cases, 5s.1213-20


Name and LocationFounded/OpenedClosed/MovedClasses Received, Weekly fees, etc.PlacesAdmission Age
Altrincham and Bowdon Home, 12 Willow Terrace, Willow Tree Road, Altrincham1913 Friendless girls; from 5s.5under 20
Birkenhead Rescue Home, 205 Oliver Street, Birkenhead1886 Unmarried women under 30. Local cases free; others pay entrance fee of 10s. 6d. Remain a few days or weeks. under 30
Birkendhead Rescue Home Waiting Home, 23 Grange Mount, Birkenheadby 1915    
St Faith's Home for Girls, 24 Palm Grove, Birkenhead1912 Mothers and babies; local cases 10s.; others 12s. 6d. Remain six months.15m/20b.15-27
Paget House, 45 Westbank Road, Devonshire Park, Birkenhead1932 Girls in need of help; temporarily.7no limit
Birkenhead Rescue Home, 7 Euston Grove, Claughton, Birkenheadby 1897 Temporarily or for two years. Birkenhead girls free, others £1 1s. entrance fee.1712-20
Birkenhead Rescue Home, Alfred House, 5 Alfred Road, Birkenheadby 1900 Birkenhead girls admitted free; for two years. £1 1s. entrance fee with cases from a distance.2814-22
St Margaret's Home, Mersey Road, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead1888 Poor penitent girls, rescue and preventive cases.80no limit
Rescue Home, 10 (later 4) Vicar's lane, Chester1883 Any class of the fallen; remain about one month.9under 24
Chester Diocesan House of Mercy, 15 Lache Lane, Chester1886 Fallen girls from the Chester diocese, fee £1 1s.; others £5.2914-18
House of Shelter, 36 Tarvin Street, Chester1883 Fallen girls and women; temporarily.9under 25
Chester Female Penitentiary, Christleton Road, Boughton, Chester1827  2514-29
Crewe Shelter /St Hilda's, 28 Stalbridge Road, Crewe1925c.1937Rescue and preventive cases; temporarily.3no limit
House of Refuge, 22 St Thomas' Place, Stockport1889 Female penitents; free from Stockport, others 4s. 6d.; temporarily.614-24
House of Refuge, 80 (later 91) Chatham Street, Stockportby 1912 Female penitents; free from Stockport, others 4s. 6d.; temporarily.514-24


Name and LocationFounded/OpenedClosed/MovedClasses Received, Weekly fees, etc.PlacesAdmission Age
Falmouth Shelter, 4 Mount Edgcumbe Villas, Falmouth1921 Fallen or friendless girls or women; temporarily; 12s. 6d. when possible.2no limit
St Faith's House of Mercy, St Winnow, Lostwithiel1864 The working class; free; remain two years.2112-30
Penzance Shelter, 1 and 7 Penare Road, Penzanceby 1935by 1953Girls and women needing help. Payment according to circumstances6m/3bunder 30
Penzance Shelter, 7 Wellington Place, Penzance1908 Girls and women needing help. Payment according to circumstances3under 30
Penzance Rescue and Preventive Society, Albert House, Penzance1881 Fallen women. Those in danger and children helped; sent to Homes.  
Penzance Shelter, Morwenna, Lescudjack Terrace, Penzanceby 1950. Before and After Care Home.8m/3b 
Truro Diocesan Maternity Home, Mount Prospect, Redruth19161920sUnmarried mothers; Diocesan cases 7s. 6d. And 15s. Confinement fee; others 10s. And £1 fee.6under 20
Cornwall Preventive and Rescue Association Mothers' and Babies' Home, Rosemundy, St Agnes1917 Girls expecting first confinement; Cornish girls, 10s.; others, 15s.; remain three months after confinement.15m/7bunder 25
Laundry Home, Alverton, Truroby 1890 Girls after their first fall; £5.  
Epiphany Laundry Home, Mitchell Hill, Truro1885 Girls after their first fall; £5 yearly; remain until considered fit to go to service (2 to 2½ years).20under 20
Truro Temporary Shelter, Tabernacle Cottage, Tabernacle Street, Truroby 1930 Preventive and rescue cases.3no limit


Name and LocationFounded/OpenedClosed/MovedClasses Received, Weekly fees, etc.PlacesAdmission Age
Carlisle Refuge Shelter, 25 Myddleton Street, Carlisle  Friendless and fallen; temporarily; free.4no limit
Carlisle Diocesan Refuge, Coledale Hall, 94-96 Newtown Road, Carlisle1886 Friendless and fallen; temporarily; free.13no limit
St Mary's Home for Penitents, Newtown Road, Carlisle1872 Fallen girls (servant class). From the surrounding district, free. Expected to remain two years. Fee of £5 with those out of diocese of Carlisle.3017-25
Workington Shelter, 8 Dora Crescent, Workington1920 Preventive and rescue cases; payment according to circumstances5under 25