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

St Michael's Home For Girls, Shipton under Wychwood

Photograph of St Michael's Home For Girls, Shipton under Wychwood

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St Michael's Home For Girls, Shipton under Wychwood

Milton Lane, Shipton under Wychwood, Oxfordshire

(1900 - 1938)

St Michael's Home for Girls can trace its origins back to the smaller Olive House Home for Girls in Hemel Hempstead. In the 1890s the need for extra places for girls in children's homes meant that Olive House soon could not help all the children who needed the Society's support. Therefore a much larger property was purchased in Milton Lane, in the nearby town of Shipton under Wychwood. This became St Michael's Home for Girls.

Previously a girls' boarding school, the Home's large dormitories could now accommodate 30 girls, aged 6-14. The Bishop of Reading officially opened and dedicated the Home to a large audience on 19 June 19 1900. To help the girls find employment after they left the Society's care, the older girls were taught needlework and cookery. The younger ones went to school.

Many Homes would raise money thorough events such as sales and fêtes. At the end of July 1905 the Duchess of Marlborough opened St Michael's summer fête - which was 'greatly aided by delightful weather'. The idea was to raise funds to build and furnish a new prayer-room for the Home. There was a large gathering and nearly £100 was raised.

Homes were regularly checked by the Local Diocese Inspectors to ensure that the homes and the children were being properly cared for. One inspector, in 1919, declared St Michael's 'an admirable school', one that he was very glad to give the special mark 'Excellent' to. Indeed, until 1926, St Michael's was a Certified Industrial School

St Michael's became a Home for boys in 1930 but girls were back in 1935 when the Lampson Home for Girls (formerly the Society's first home - Dulwich Home For Girls) moved to Shipton under Wychwood and adopted the name St Michael's Home for Girls. The Home eventually closed in 1938.

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