Hidden Lives Revealed. A virtual archive - children in care 1881-1981 * Image of handwritten text

St Monica's Home For Girls, Cheltenham

Photograph of St Monica's Home For Girls, Cheltenham

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St Monica's Home For Girls, Cheltenham

Battledown Grange, Battledown Approach, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

(1907 - 1947)

St Monica's Home was opened on 28 October 1907, to replace the old Cheltenham Home on Hewlett Road. The new property, Battledown Grange, held a benediction service (a type of blessing) to mark the occasion. Interested visitors crowded into the Home, 'squeezed together like so many herrings in a barrel.' Among the crowd were the 10 little girls from the old Home, who had already moved into their new address. By the end of the year, 15 other girls (aged 4-16) had joined them and St Monica's was fully established.

Miss Sawyer, who founded the original Cheltenham Home 20 years earlier, carried on her work as Honorary Superintendent. Right up until her death in 1912, she worked tirelessly for St Monica's and 'her interests, her thoughts, and her prayers were concentrated upon the Home'.

All the girls were looked after by the matron, who also managed the day-to-day finances. In 1919 she saved up enough money to take the girls on holiday to Bournemouth for four weeks. The Home was filled with excitement and adventure, as none of the girls had ever even seen the sea. After this year, summer holidays became a regular fixture for St Monica's and they often visited Porthcawl in Wales.

St Monica's Home closed in 1947. It was later re-opened as a St Monica's Training College for Nursery Nurses.

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