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

St Agnes' Home For Girls, Croydon

Photograph of St Agnes' Home For Girls, Croydon

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St Agnes' Home For Girls, Croydon

7 Wellesley Road, Croydon, London

(1897 - 1935)

The Home was transferred to the Society in 1897 and renamed St Agnes' Home for Crippled Girls. It specialised in caring for about 20 disabled girls, usually aged up to 16 years old, and functioned as an offshoot of the work that had begun in St Nicholas' Home for Crippled Children, Upper Tooting, Surrey. When they were old enough girls would move from St Nicholas' to St Agnes', where they were taught knitting, basket or needle work. The goods produced would be sold in order to support the Home

In 1899 a former church institute was acquired and adapted for the purpose of relocating St Agnes' to more suitable premises. The Home in Wellesley Road, Croydon, was formally opened the following year in October 1900.

By 1905 the knitted socks, stockings and vests produced at St Agnes' were in great demand. By this time there were 30 residents and they were taught skills that would give them the best chance of a self-sufficient income. Machine knitting enabled girls, for the most part, to live independently, and many took up positions as sewing-maids in schools or institutions

In 1913 St Agnes' became a Hostel for girls over 14 years old who were unable to leave and find work owing to the severity of their disability. The Home was renamed St Agnes' Hostel for Girls and on 12 March 1914 the Society's Patron, Queen Mary, paid a surprise visit to the Home. The Queen only gave a few hours notice before she was due to arrive, so that she could keep the visit private. The Honorary Secretary during these years was Miss Warton, with Miss Earp as the matron.

The Bishop of Croydon opened a new chapel in 1923, and the Home received a new altar in 1925. The Home closed in 1935, and the chapel was transferred to Margaret Calliard House, Trowbridge. Some residents were relocated to St Agnes' Home, Pevensey Bay.

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