St Agnes Girls Home
Provider: Mission of St James & St John (Church of England)
Year Opened: 1926
Year Closed: 1963
For further information about this Home, please refer to: For the Record
Wiseman House, originally named Sawbridgeworth after the family village in England, was built in Widford Road in 1887-88 for Arthur Wiseman.
After Wiseman’s death in 1892, his widow remained at Sawbridgeworth until 1910 when it was sold. The house remained in private ownership until 1923, however, during World War One, together with Ashleigh, the house was used as a Infectious Diseases hospital, run by the Red Cross.
In 1923 Sawbridgeworth was purchased by the Mission of St James and St John, becoming St Agnes Girls’ Home. When the Home was discontinued in 1963, Sawbridgeworth was sold to the local Anglican congregation and was renamed Wiseman House.
Wiseman House is still owned by St Matthew’s Anglican Church, who built the adjacent church in 1965, and now operates as the Wiseman Youth Centre.
In 1963 the girls were moved to the new Blackburn South Cottages.
Information sourced from “Billylids and Home Kids”” by Joanne Monk and Gina O’Donoghue” and from the Victorian Heritage Database
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