Ancestry UK

Great Barr Park Colony, Staffordshire

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In 1911, the Walsall and West Bromwich unions set up a Joint Committee for providing care for certain categories of paupers away from the main workhouse.

In the same year, the Committee purchased Great Barr Hall and the surrounding 447-acre Great Barr Hall Park estate at the north-west of West Bromwich. The Hall was erected in 1777 as the home of Sir Joseph Scott. In 1912, the main building was converted for use as a home for children under five.

Great Barr Hall site, 1918.

In 1918, the site began began to be used for the accommodation of "mental defectives". A horseshoe of houses for females at the south of the Hall was completed by 1930, and a row of houses for males at the north of the Hall by 1937. The local architect Gerald McMichael was responsible for most of the scheme.

Great Barr Hall site, 1937.

Later illustrations of the site indicate that males occupied buildings at the eastern side of the main horseshoe.

Great Barr - Female Homes from the south.

Great Barr - Arthur Ward Assembly Hall, Lavender Home amd administrative buildings from the south-east.

Great Barr - Male Homes and football ground from the south.

Females at the colony provided the domestic labour of the establishment, such as kitchen and laundry work and sewing.

Great Barr Colony kitchen, laundry and sewing room, 1920s.

After 1948, the site joined the National health Service as St. Margaret's Hospital. The Hall was vacated in 1978 although other buildings continued in use until the 1990s. After falling into dereliction, the site is now being redeveloped with all the old buildings being demolished.

Great Barr Nurses' Home from the south.


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