Birmingham Area 1929


A snapshot of the children’s homes and other residential institutions for children in Birmingham in 1929. This was a sgnificant year as it was the last year of the Boards of Guardians. In 1930, Birmingham City Council was formed.



The Ansell School (for Boys), Balden Road, Harborne


Aston Union Cottage Homes, Fentham Road, Erdington

Superintendent: RH Bryan

Matron: Mrs EM Bryan

More information here.


Birmingham Board of Guardians’ Girls’ Hostel, 236 Bristol Road

Matron: Mary Williams

This hostel, known as Riversdale, opened in 1921 and was for girls who

had left a children’s home (and school) and were going into work

– a working girls’ home. In 1952 it was renamed Pebble Mill House and was

used as a City Council children’s home until it closed in 1976.


Birmingham Children’s Remand Home, 232 Moseley Road

Warden: Thomas Preece

This was opened in1911and funded by Barrow and Geraldine Cadbury. It was run

independently of the Guardians of the Poor. It was taken over by the City Council

in the 1930s. After the Second World War, it became known as Athelstan

House and was used as a reception centre. It closed in 2001.

The Athelstan House building when it was standing empty after its time as a remand centre


The Birmingham Royal Institution for the Blind, Carpenter Road, Edgbaston

Accommodation for 175


Birmingham Police Hostel for Girls, Newton Street

Superintendent: Miss Kate Short

This remand home was given to the city by Barrow and Geraldine Cadbury in 1928.

It was also known as Newton Street Remand Home. The street was not

far from the law courts. However, in 1939, the hostel was closed.


Birmingham Working Boy’s Home, 198 Stratford Road

Superintendent: Thomas Brewerton


Blue Coat School, 18 Colmore Row and St Philip’s Place

Instituted AD 1724 for the educating and maintaining of nearly 250 male

and female children who are received from 9 to 11 years of age and leave,

boys at 14, girls at 15.More information here.


Carnegie Infant Welfare Institute, Hunters Road, Hockley

Matron: Miss Elizabeth Exell


Children’s Holiday Home, 76 and 78 Selly Oak Road, Bournville

Warden: Horace Cole


Church of England Waifs and Strays Society Home for Girls, 111 Church Hill Road, Handsworth

Matron: Miss E Shelton

More on the Waifs and Strays here.


The Church of England Waifs and Strays Boys’ Home, 13 Park Road, Moseley

Matron: Mrs Evans

More on the Waifs and Strays here.

More on 13 Park Road (Sycamore House) here


Cottage Homes, Marston Green

Superintendent: James Rhodes

Matron: Miss BS Dittmer

More information here


Crowley’s Orphanage for Girls, 43 and 44 Lee Crescent, Edgbaston

Matron: Miss Bertha Bowen


Dr Barnardo’s Homes - ‘Ever Open Door’, 78 Alcester Road, Moseley

Superintendent: Mrs Marion Neal

More information on Barnardo's here


Lordswood Nursery, Lordswood Road, Harborne

Matron: Miss EL Anderson

Lordswood opened in 1928 and became the first of Birmingham's

residential nurseries - several more were to follow. Effectively, the

nursery moved, in 1939, to Red House in Overbury in Worcestershire.

It close in 1954.


Maryvale Roman Catholic Orphanage, Old Oscott Lane, Hamstead

Sisters of Mercy in Charge


Mason’s (Sir Josiah) Orprhanage, Orphanage Road, Erdington

House Governor: GW Cleaver

More information here.


Middlemore Emigration Homes, 157, 159 and 161 St Luke’s Road

Matron: Miss N Sweeney

More information here.


Norton Training School for Boys, Fordrough Lane, Bordesley Green

Superintendent: Sydney Pollitt

Matron: Mrs Pollitt


Receiving Home, Summer Hill Terrace

Superintendent: S Blandford

Matron: Mrs L Blandford

The Birmingham Board of Guardians bought this in 1905 as part of

their workhouse/cottage homes provision for children. Children would

be placed in Summer Hill until a permanent placement was arranged for

 them. A school was added in 1921. The home closed in 1939 when the

children were evacuated in 1939 and didn't reopen.


Royal Institution for Deaf and Dumb Children, Church Road, Edgbaston

Established 1812, accommodation for 183 (mixed)


St Brigid’s Hostel for Working Girls, 173, 174, and 175 High Street, Deritend

Superior: Sister Joseph Plunkett


St Francis Orphanage, 91 Church Road, Moseley

Sister Maria Francis


St John’s Training House (RC) for girls, 18 Gravelly Hill north, Erdington

Sisters of St Vincent de Paul

This building was, in 1976, bought to be a regional remand centre

managed by Birmingham Social Services. The children were schooled

on site and rarely left the unit. Later, a secure unit was added.

After a series of incidents - inlcluding the deaths of two children in stolen cars, St John’s remand unit closed in 1997 and reopened as Kingsmere Remand

Unit in 2000. Kingsmere closed in 2010. Two members of staff of St John's

have been convicted of the abuse of residents.


St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Home, 31 Brougham Street, Lozells

Accommodation for 122 girls.

Mother Superior: J Whitehead


St Mary’s Home for Women and Girls, The Priory, Bristol Road South

Superior: Sister Rev. Mother Philomena Duffy


St Philips Roman Catholic Orphange, 11 Oliver Road

Principal: Sister Superior


St Vincent’s Home for Working Boys (Roman Catholics), 102 Moseley Road

Superintendent: Alfred T Flynn


Shenley Fields Children’s Home, Shenley Fields, Northfield

Superintendent: Harry Mitchell Cohen

Matron: Mrs Bertha SE Cohen

More information here.


Working Boys’ Home, 205 Vauxhall Road

Superintendent: Sydney Charles Squires

This home was opened in 1913 and was later known as Vauxhall House. It was closed in 1952, the boys being sent to Milton Grange or Copeley Hill Hostel,

and the building was demolished soon after.


Working Girls’ Hostel, Shaftesbury House, 3, 4 and 5 St Mary’s Row

Matron: Sister MiIlicent Brownhill


Uplands Convalescence Home, Greenhill, Blackwell

As a convalescent home, The Uplands was run by the

Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund which ran several convalescent

homes in the early twentieth century. In 1967 Birmingham City

Council bought it to use as a reception centre – children would stay

at the Uplands for assessment for a few weeks and then be sent to

one of the remand homes such as Tennal. In 1981, Uplands

itself became a remand home (called then a community home

with education). In 2003, Brian Gillam, manager of the Uplands

between 1973 and 1985 was convicted of rapes that had taken place

during his time at the Uplands. News report here [external website]

The Uplands closed in 2010.

The Uplands building standing empty in 2010