Former Children's Homes


A warm welcome to the Former Children's Homes website. Having started in 2011, this is the first dedicated encyclopaedia of life in former children's homes and orphanages. 


Over the years, thousands and thousands of children spent time in these homes and yet we know very little about what life was like for them.

The idea of this site is to share our memories and our family history research to build up a picture of what life was really like for people in children's homes so you are very welcome to contribute any information and photographs to the site and, of course, please feel free to tell us when we have got something wrong. This is a complicated topic and we may very well make mistakes.


Gudrun Jane Limbrick





Find a specific children's home/orphanage:


Memories of what it was like in a children's home:



Like this site?

 Please help us to keep it going.

Thank you!

We get NO external funding at all and rely on donations to function. 



Do you recognise this building?


To try to help a family find a missing family member, we are looking to identfy this home. The photo was taken in around 1946 and may have been in London.

Please note - the faces of the children have been disguised as we do not have their permission to identify them in this way.


If you have any ideas, please join the discussion on our families page






We raise a few pence every time you click on one of the Google adverts. If everyone who visited the site clicked on an advert, the future of this important site would be guaranteed. 

 (and you might just find something you like...)





Apparently, our search facility has not been working. We've now repaired it so you can search the site fully again. Thanks for your patience and many thanks for letting us know about the problem.

Custom Search







Looking for my family
- an experiment



Recently, I seem to have received more requests for people looking for family members, particularly brothers and sisters, after being separated when one or more of them went to a children's home. For this reason, I am experimenting with providing a notice board so that people can give details of themselves in case missing family members are searching for them. Please let me know if you think this is useful.






I have been trying to think of ways to make it easier for people to find children's homes and so am experimenting with county maps which will guide you to homes in that area. Have a look and see what you think!

The tragic history
of jelly babies


The BBC recently examined the history of the humble jelly bean and discovered that they were created by Fryers of Lancashire in 1864. They weren't known as jelly babies then but as 'Unclaimed Babies' after the orphaned and abandoned infants which were all too common at the time. The tragedy behind the name seemingly didn't do anything to harm their popularity.





Take a look at how much truth there might be in the fiction.





 We are, of course, complying with the new law on cookies. More information on this here. Rest assured, we ONLY use cookies to count the number of visitors to this site.