Records of Elmswood Maternity Home

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

These are the records of Elmswood Maternity Home (ELM), 1914-1970.

Cradlehurst Home for Mothers and Infants was the predecessor to Elmswood, situated on Edge Lane, Liverpool, from 1913 until 1939. From 1907 to 1913 the Home had been called Chesterfield House.

Elmswood was situated on North Mossley Road, Liverpool, and was opened as a Maternity Home on 25 January 1940. Elmswood closed in 1969 and reopened as a Children's Home in June 1970, which closed in 1982.

ELM/4 includes the only known surviving records for The Hollies Industrial Home. These are two three yearly reports. The Hollies opened on Edge Lane, Liverpool in 1902 and closed in 1939. Cradlehurst was adjacent to The Hollies from 1913 to 1939, the proximity of the two Homes seems the most likely reason for the presence of these stray records in this collection.

The arrangement of the records is as follows:

ELM 1: Dedication registers and certificates, 1928-1966

ELM 2: Day books, 1938-1969

ELM 3: Statistics books, 1932-1949

ELM 4: Three yearly report book, 1914-1955

ELM 5: Report book, 1961-1962

ELM 6: Invitations, 1940-1970

Administrative / Biographical History

The site of Chesterfield House, 313 Edge Lane (adjacent to The Hollies), was first used for maternity work in 1907; the official opening was in January 1908. In 1910 Chesterfield House was in use as a children's home (nursery); by 1913 the site was again used for maternity work. In 1913 the name was changed to Cradlehurst, although it is unclear why this happened.

In October 1939 Cradlehurst was closed and the work hurriedly transferred to Elmswood, North Mossley Hill Road, Mossley Hill, Liverpool 18, as Cradlehurst had '…fallen to pieces. Even in peace-time it could not be called "safe".' Elmswood, once the home of Alderman Burton Ellis, one-time Lord Mayor of Liverpool, was officially opened in February 1940.

The home was closed in May 1969, before re-opening as a children's home on 24 June 1970, with accommodation for 22 girls and 12 boys. It closed finally in 1982.

Conditions Governing Access

Some items in this collection are closed to the public. Records of a personal nature relating to identified individuals are closed for the lifespan of the individual. When it is not possible to establish whether an individual has died, a closure period of 75 years (if the individual was an adult when the record was created) or 100 years (if the individual was a child when the record was created) is imposed under the Data Protection Act [1998]. Former residents can apply for access to their own records. Please enquire for details. Open files can be viewed in the reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre, open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. To make an appointment or to enquire about your own records, phone: 0207 326 7800; or email: heritage@salvationarmy.org.uk.

Other Finding Aids

A multi-level description of this collection can be accessed in the International Heritage Centre's online catalogue: http://www.calmview.eu/SalvationArmy/CalmView/. A paper catalogue is available in the reading room of the International Heritage Centre.