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Note: many of Miss Rye's girls came from Kirkdale.

Kirkdale Industrial Schools And Free Church

(From Illustrated London News, January 18, 1862.)

The new industrial schools and free schoolroom church for the district of Kirkdale, Liverpool, which have recently been erected in Major-street, near the top of Scotland-road, were opened by Lord Stanley, with great éclat, on the 7th instant. These schools owe their existence entirely to the indefatigable exertions of the Rev. T. Major Lester, the Incumbent of St. Mary's Church, Kirkdale, who for years past has taken a most active interest in all that tends to promote not only the spiritual but the social and temporal welfare of the poorer classes of his district, and he has already in successful operation several institutions for the accomplishment of that object. About eighteen mouths ago the Earl of Derby laid the foundation-stone of the building. Since that time a good substantial structure, admirably suited for the purpose, has been erected in the midst of a very populous district. It is intended that the new building shall not only be used as an industrial ragged-school where children of the very poorest class of the population shall receive the usual elementary instruction, but where boys shall also be taught the rudiments of some useful occupation for their after life. This object has been strictly kept in view in the design and construction of the building. It is also intended that on Sundays it shall be used as a free schoolroom church, where there will be Divine service and free accommodation for a large number of the adult working population of the neighbourhood. The building stands upon an oblong piece of land, belonging to J. Shaw Leigh, Esq., who gave a portion of the site, while the remaining part was bought of him. It is fronted by Kirkdale-road, and bounded on the remaining three sides by Boundary-street, Major-street, and Gore-street North. The exterior fronts are plain brick and stone, and have nothing to recommend them but their simplicity and good internal arrangements. The basement floor is planned for a cooking kitchen, which can be used for a soup kitchen during the winter months, and has a separate entrance from Major-street. Adjoining this kitchen is a flagged cellar, inten[d]ed as a playroom during wet weather, or for workshop when required. The main entrance to the ground floor is from Major-street, to a schoolroom 80ft. long, 25ft. 6in. wide, and 18ft. high; intended also to be used as a free church for the poor of the district. From this room there are a classroom, large workshop, and a storeroom, covered lavatories, and a large play-yard. The upper floor, which corresponds with the ground floor, and which has also a separate entrance from Major-street, is intended for a girls' schoolroom, classroom, printing-shop, and large workshop. The building and yard walls occupy an area of about 1300 square yards, and the entire cost has been £3000.

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Last updated: October 26, 2010 and maintained by Marj Kohli