Quick links to the orphanages listed on this page:


Atkinson Home

Beech House

Bethesda Home

Birch's Orphanage

Broome House

Central Refuge

Chetham's Hospital

Children's Garden Village

Cornbrook Orphanage

Crossley Gaddum

Crossley Home

Garnett Home

Hayes Shaw


Higgins Home


Langworthy Home



Lockhart House

Manchester Police Orphanage

Manchester & Salford Boys and Girls Refuges

Milne Perrins Sanatorium

Norwood Asylum

Rosen Hallas 

School Girls' Home

Sir William Stevenson Emigration Home

St Bridget's

St Joseph's Orphanage for Boys

St Mary's Orphanage for Girls

St Patrick's Orphanage for Girls

Tetlow Gove House

Trafalgar House

Working Boys' homes









The British Film Institute has a short film of boys from an orphanage in a Catholic procession in Manchester in 1901. It is not known which orphanage they were from but it is a remarkable piece of film which is free to view.(British Film Institute site).














Chetham's School of Music

Souce: Geograph.co.uk Photographer: Richard Rogerson 



















More information on these homes is available from

The Together Trust website.



Orphanages in Manchester:

 a starting point


It was pointed out that this website was missing information on some of the early Manchester orphanages. I have now done a very quick trawl and include some information on this page. However, it is just a beginning and there is so much more to learn. If you know anything about Manchester orphanages (whether or not they are listed on this page), please let us know.


November 2013


Please note there are separate pages on this site for:

Styal Cottage Homes (which took in Manchester children)

Nazareth House in Manchester

Culceth Cottage Homes (which served Salford)




Birch's Orphanage

Possibly also known as Cornbrook Orphanage


In the 1860s, William Birch, a Baptist minister, began fostering children informally and then bought houses in Cornbrook St, in Hulme for use as an orphanage. He employed a matron, Mrs Blinkhorn to run the place. In 1866, there were 29 children and by 1868 it had risen to 43 with around 50 in 1871. In the late 1890s, the orphanage closed when William moved to New Zealand.



St Patrick's Orphanage for Girls

Also know as St Patrick's Girls' Home

Also known as St Mary's Orphanage for Girls


Run by Catholic order of the Sisters of Mercy, it was first called St. Mary’s Orphanage for Girls and was established in 1870 at the corner of Beech and Laurel Streets. In 1874 the Harris estate at the corner of Pine and Hanover (184 Hanover Street) was purchased by Father McDonald (First pastor of St. Anne’s Church) and the orphanage was renamed St. Patrick’s Orphanage. It housed 150 girls who were taught grade school subjects as well as sewing, knitting and homemaking.  The listing for the orphanage disappears in 1962.



St Joseph's Orphanage for Boys


This was based next door to St Patrick's Orphanage for girls and was also run bvy the Sisters of Mercy. I assume that it opened in 1874 or earlier and that it closed at the same sort of time as St Patrick's.



Norwood Asylum


In the late 19th/early 20th century, Jewish orphans in Manchester tended to be sent all the way to Norwood Asylum which was on the outskirts of London.



Manchester Police Orphanage


Run by the Manchester Police Orphanage and Benevolent Fund, and providing accommodation for children whose fathers were police officers who had been killed or injured during the course of their work, this was running in the late 1890s. Other than that, I have so far been able to find out nothing.



Chetham's Hospital


In the 1650s, Humphrey Chetham, a cotton merchant, gave money to open an orphanage in the buildings that had been the original manor house of the Lord of the Manor of Manchester. The orphanage opened as Chetham’s Hospital after the merchant’s death in 1653, and included some of the original Manor House buildings dating from 1421. The orphanage became Chetham’s School of Music in 1969, which is now the largest specialist music school in the UK.



St Bridget's


St Bridget's was a Catholic Orphanage in Manchester run by the Presentation Nuns who were based at Livesey Street. Limited administration records of the orphanage are held at the Diocesan Archives in Manchester but no registers of children.



Trafalgar House

Based on Audenshaw Road, it is possible that this was for girls only. We think it was run by the Children's Society. Can anyone help with any more information?


Broome House, Didsbury

Beech House, Newall Green


These two homes were Council-run and closed in 2013 as part of a three year programme to boost fostering and reduce expenditure on residential childcare. At least three others are due to close in 2014.



The Manchester and Salford Boys and Girls Refuges and Homes

also known as the Boys' and Girls' Welfare Society (from 1960)


The Manchester and Salford Boys and Girls Refuges and Homes organisation was founded in 1870 by Leonard Shaw and Richard Taylor, who were Sunday school teachers at St Ann's Church, Manchester. The organisation is now known as the Together Trust and it is from their website that I have extracted the following information about the many homes set up by the organisation over the years:.


Home for Boys, 16 Quay Street, Deansgate

Set up in 1870 and gave a bed for the night and breakfast for 12 boys. It closed in 1871.


Central Refuge and Workshops, Francis Street

The organisation moved to its new HQ (known as Strangeways) on Francis Street in 1871. The HQ also housed, and provided some work, for destitute boys. This closed in 1920.


Working boys' homes

Four such homes were opened in Little Broughton between 1873 and 1888. (see also our own page on Working boys' homes)


Little Boys' Home

Only open for 3 years (1875 - 1878), this was on Great Ducie Street.


Langworthy Home, Garnett Home, Crossley Home, Higgins Home, Atkinson Home, School Girls' Home, Rosen Hallas 

These 'family-style' homes, for younger children, were all on George Street, Cheetham Hill and were opened in 1875. Most were sold in 1920 when the charity moved out of the city centre. Langworthy and Garnett remained as Working Boys' Homes however until 1945.


Bethesda Home

This was also on George Street, opened in 1890 and ran in 1958. It mainly housed children with disabilities.



Opened in 1878 on Broughton Lane, this was for older girls. It closed in 1894.


Seaside Convalescent Home

This was opened in Lytham in 1883. It moved to Old Colwyn in 1915 and finally closed in 1984.


Children's Shelter

This opened in 1884 on Major Street and moved to Chatham Street in 1890.


The Sir William Stevenson Emigration Home

This was on Great Ducie Street from 1891 to 1914 and prepared boys for emigration.


Tetlow Gove House

This was set up on George Street in 1896 mainly for girls who had lost their mothers. It closed just 4 years later.


The Children's Garden Village

In 1923, the organisation set up the Children's Garden Village on the Belmont House estate.  The 'village' included two houses - Crossley Gaddum and Hayes Shaw - and the Milne Perrins Sanatorium.


Linden (1958), Lerryn (1960) Highlea (1963) and Lockhart House (1965)

These family-style children's homes were opened on the dates specified and effectively replaced the Garden Village.