In the summer of 1883, Peterborough millionaire George A Cox offered Dr. Thomas Barnardo his choice of several homes he owned in Peterborough to establish a home for wards and orphan children from England. Having selected Hazelbrae, George A Cox began preparing to make the home ready for the children. On July 22nd the first 150 of the 10,000 children to pass through the Hazelbrae home arrived.
The children’s new home was a magnificent three storey brick home sitting high on what was called the "Conger’s Hill" facing out on to present day on George Street. It occupied five acres of land surrounded by extensive lawns and orchards, flower and vegetable gardens.
The main floor of Hazelbrae consisted of a secretary’s office, a staff dining hall for the children and a children’s play room complete with a lavatory. On the second floor were sleeping rooms for the staff plus a section used for a dormitory. Fitted little cots sufficient to sleep 150 children occupied the third floor. Each cot had a pillow, fresh linens and were cover with a gray blanket.
In 1912 the home was re-named "The Margret Cox Home" for girls (in honour of the wife of the original benefactor George A. Cox). The home closed in 1922 and by 1939 was completely torn down.
Today a Heritage plaque recognizing the home stands on the grounds of the former Hazelbrae home.
For further information on Barnardos or the Hazelbrae Group we can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org