The Royal Albert Orphanage

  • 21 Oct 2021
  • Historical Studies
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A relic of Victorian philanthropy stood in Henwick Road. In more more modern times was used as the Y.M.C.A hostel until 2021, then sadly demolished to make way for new homes. The original building was very large and costly, and though institutional inside, the exterior proclaimed proudly the good work which was done.

The front was a delightful essay of Venetian Gothic in brick. It was one of the best Victorial buildings in the City, and would have delighted Ruskin. It was built in 1869 for 38 boys and 38 girls, to the designs of William Watkins, who was a native of Rushock, near Droitwich. He was articled to an architect in Worcester and set up practice in Lincoln. He won many open competitions in architecture, including plans for Grantham Town Hall, Doncaster Corn Exchange and Kidderminster Workhouse, and many of his buildings remain to this day in the Lincoln area. He died in 1926 at the age of 91. In 1862 the orphange occupied a house in St. John's, originating from a donation from J. Wheeley.