• Organisation

Barrington Boys' Home


Barrington Boys’ Home, run by the Salvation Army, opened in New Town in 1946. Some of the boys had committed an offence. The rest were either wards of state or admitted by their relatives. The Home closed in 1981.

Barrington Boys’ Home was in New Town. When it opened, it had a capacity for 40 boys. In 1951, a new wing, named Purdon Wing after its chief benefactor, increased its capacity to 53 boys.

In the 1960s, about one third of the boys entered the Home through the children’s courts. The rest were either wards of state or had been admitted by their relatives. It was a policy of the Home to restrict the number who had committed an offence in case they disrupted the others. The nature of that offence was confidential. According to Mary Daunton-Fear, only the Superintendent knew what it was unless the boy told members of staff or other boys about it.

There were 10 members of staff. They were a Superintendent and Matron, who were a married couple, a male and female Salvation Army officer, a cook, a seamstress, and a laundress. Another woman looked after a group of 10 younger boys who lived on the grounds in separate accommodation. They had a different timetable to the older ones. In addition, a group of seven boys of different ages lived in an adjoining Home with a married couple. In 1967, there were plans to move some girls in with them to make it more like a family. It may also have been an attempt to keep siblings together. The Home already had a policy of admitting brothers for this reason.

According to Mary Daunton-Fear the routine of the Home was as follows:

  • 7 am – Boys got up.
  • 7:15 – Boys carried out household jobs. The older ones had a roster for this.
  • 7:30 – Breakfast time.
  • 7:50 – Morning prayer and a Bible story.
  • 8:00 – Boys left for school. They attended New Town Primary School or a special school if they had an intellectual or physical disability.
  • 3:15 – Boys returned from school and did homework.
  • 4:30 – Boys carried out household jobs.
  • 5:00 – Tea time.
  • 6:00 – Homework or recreation.
  • 6: 45 – Younger boys began getting ready for bed.
  • 9:00 – Lights out for all the boys.

On Saturdays, the boys could choose what they wanted to do. Recreational activities included gardening, cricket and tennis. Some earned pocket money by doing odd jobs around the Home or outside it. The Superintendent put their earnings into a trust account and withdrew it when the boys asked. They also received one shilling a week pocket money. The boys could have visitors every Saturday and go out with their parents on alternate Saturdays. One Saturday a month, they could stay with their parents overnight.

On Sundays, the boys attended the Salvation Army Citadel unless they had another strongly held religious belief.

The Home was open and boys could walk around Hobart if they wished. Daunton-Fear said that they were not locked up for punishment and seldom caned. Punishment usually meant having to do an unpopular job. The staff did not withdraw privileges in case it caused resentment.

A local doctor provided medical attention. For more specialised medical care, the Home used the outpatients at the Royal Hobart Hospital. The schools provided a dental service.

In 2012, the original house, which was built in the 1850s, is listed by the Tasmanian Heritage Council. It is used as an aged care facility known as Barrington Lodge. The Salvation Army continue to run it.

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  • To


  • Alternative Names

    Barrington Children's Home

    Salvation Army Boys' Home

    Barrington Home for Boys


  • 1946 - 1981

    Barrington Boys' Home was situated on Swanston Street, New Town, Tasmania (Building Still standing)


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