Wavertree Cottage Homes

In 1897 the Olive Mount estate was purchased by the Liverpool Select Vestry, for the building of Cottage Homes.

The Liverpool Select Vestry was part of the Victorian Poor Law system. It administered the giant Liverpool Workhouse on Brownlow Hill (where the Roman Catholic Cathedral stands today). In 1889 the West Derby Union - which was the body responsible for Poor Law administration on the outskirts of Liverpool, including Wavertree - had opened Cottage Homes at Fazakerley, the first of their kind in Britain. These Homes aimed to give orphans and other destitute children the sense of belonging to a 'family' group, rather than a vast and impersonal institution. The experiment was obviously a success, for the Liverpool Select Vestry decided to copy the West Derby example and in 1901 established its own Cottage Homes here at Olive Mount.

Eventually, in 1925, the two Poor Law bodies were amalgamated. The Wavertree Cottage Homes were then used only for children up to the age of seven, older children being accommodated at Fazakerley. When the Poor Law was abolished, the Olive Mount estate became a Children's Hospital, which in later years specialised in the care of the mentally handicapped. With the advent of 'care in the community' it closed down, and virtually all of the buildings were demolished in 1991. The original house - which had been used as the administrative centre of the hospital - was retained by the Health Authority as offices.

The above is an extract from 'DISCOVERING HISTORIC WAVERTREE',
. © Mike Chitty 1999.
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Page created by MRC 26 February 2000.