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

St Catherine's Home, Hampstead

Photograph of St Catherine's Home, Hampstead

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St Catherine's Home, Hampstead

Hampstead, London

(1926 - 1977)

In 1925 the first proposals were made for the establishment of a Home in Hampstead to replace the Stroud Green Home that was to be closed that year. Two adjoining premises were acquired in 1926 within a courtyard and set back from the road. St Catherine's Home for Girls was officially opened and dedicated on 28 April 1926 accommodating the girls from the Stroud Green Home. It also appears that the residents of St Dorethea's Home for Girls in Bournemouth relocated to St Catherine's in the same year.

St Catherine's became a Home for Boys between aged 4-10 in 1928 as the Executive Committee made the decision to house boys rather than girls owing to the growing number of boys needing residential care in the area at this time. From this point onwards the Home moved back and forwards between accommodating boys and girls, until finally in 1969 the Home became a mixed unit.

By 1934 St Catherine's accommodated 27 girls from seven years upwards. The residents attended the local school as well as the Girl Guides and the Brownies, a connection that was made through the church rather than the Home itself in order to allow the residents contact with life outside the Home.

St Catherine's was evacuated at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, although it is not clear where the girls were relocated. After the war the Home reopened as a Home for boys. The boys came from Society Homes in the north of the country.

In 1968 structural alterations and repairs were made to the Home and by 1969 it had become a mixed unit for both boys and girls.

It is unclear when the Home closed, although it is likely to have been around 1977.

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