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

Hedgerley Court Farm Home For Boys

Photograph of Hedgerley Court Farm Home For Boys

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Hedgerley Court Farm Home For Boys

Nr. Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire

(1893 - 1926)

'Nestled away between spurs of the Chiltern Hills', Hedgerley Court Farm Home was established to give boys (aged 11-12) training in farming. Throughout their two years at the farm, the boys were taught skills such as milking, sheep shearing, as well as planting and harvesting crops. The Home was run exactly like an agricultural farm, and crops were produced for sale at local markets, as well as for use in the Home's kitchen.

Opened on 22 June 1893 by the Bishop of Reading, Hedgerley Court Farm was the Society's second farm home, after Standon. The farmhouse, which had been donated by Mrs Stevenson of Hedgerley Park, was set in 30 acres of land which cost £5 a year rent, on a lease of 21 years. Although the house could accommodate 30 boys, it was only certified by the Local Government Board to receive 25, and that number was never exceeded.

Mrs Stevenson continued her involvement with the Home by working as its Honorary Secretary. She even involved her daughters, who were both registered as farmers on the Home. The Master and Matron were Mr and Mrs Corps Smith, who both retired in 1922 after 21 years in service.

The Home closed in 1926, as the house and farm-buildings proved difficult to maintain.

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