Thursday, May 24, 2018

Home for Penitent Females, Stoneygate Road, Leicester


I have more than once noticed and photographed this official-looking building on the corner of Aber Road and Stoneygate Road in Leicester.

Today it is occupied by a Montessori school, but what was it originally?

A tweet from the Stoneygate Conservation Area Society today gives the answer:


The journal is a big pdf to download, but the article Rescue and Redemption: Saving Leicester’s
Fallen Women 1846 to 1900 by Shirley Aucott makes it worth the effort:
Local architect, William Beaumont Smith, was commissioned to design a red brick Gothic style building, and in October 1881 the management committee eventually achieved its ambition to move to premises away ‘from the associations of the town’ and the ‘narrow, dark situation in Blue Boar Lane. 
This position, near to green fields, they thought would be of great benefit to the inmates, as they were now beginning to understand that ‘a healthy moral life depended upon a healthy physical one.’ 
The accommodation was much more spacious as it contained a work room (used as a chapel on Sundays), a kitchen, a dining hall and dormitories. All of this came at great expense causing the management committee to go deeply into debt for several years, despite generous donations from such people as Mrs Perry Herrick who had donated £1,000 towards the overall cost which was somewhat in excess of £7,000.
For another Leicester institution of this period, read about the Children's Receiving Home in Mill Hill Lane.

2 comments:

Frank Little said...

I guess Lord Bonkers would approve.

Lone Facet said...

Once you've taken in the unique d├ęcor at this place, the hardest part is to decide whether to go upstairs or downstairs. With a large open floor plan, you'll find bars on both levels of event space, and someone will always come by to serve you matter where you decide to hang out.