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.





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





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...)


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.





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 above project is being conducted by a friend of this site.

He has just launched a new piece of research to understand how COVID-19 affects care experienced adults. We're asking people to complete a survey about how they're getting on and to submit a diary entry (which could be written, a drawing, photography, or a short video). Everyone who completes the survey and sends us a diary entry will be provided with a £15 voucher.
More details...





Gudrun Limbrick







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




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.


Looking for people
Is this you?


I am looking for a few very specific people. This may be related to a nursery or a school or it may not, I am really not sure.

Margaret Wood born 1944
Wendy Morton born 1945
Gary Sylvester born 1944
Lorna Dodds born 1945
John McTierney born 1941
Elizabeth McTierney born 1945
Leigh Childs born 1945
Jean Ruddick born1945
Robert Farrelley born 1946
Maureen Bourke born 1944
Elieen Bourke born 1944
Ray Emmerson born 1942
Richard Greenhead born 1942
Andrea Harris born 1941
Jeffrey James born 1941
Irene Leppenwell born 1944
Barbara Spink born 1942
Vincent Burke born 1942
Pauline Leeming born 1942
Keith Webb born 1942
Jonathan Baldwin born 1943
Carole Lee born 1943
Sandra Young born 1942
Brian Smith born 1944
William Finch born 1943
Peter Marsh born 1944
Carole Hughes born  1944
Barry Baker born 1944
Carole Hawthorne born 1942


Please email:







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





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