Rydal Penrhos Community
Appeal launched to find Penrhos College WWII evacuees

Appeal launched to find Penrhos College WWII evacuees

An appeal has been launched to find any evacuees from Penrhos College that were transferred to Chatsworth House during World War Two.

Around 250 girls from Penrhos were given refuge at the Derbyshire facility, living in dormitories in the property’s state rooms for six years.

During the day they tended the vegetable gardens to contribute to the national war effort, enjoyed ice-skating on the Canal Pond during winter months and had the run of the house, as its contents had been carefully packed away.

Three students from the University of Sheffield have issued the appeal after coming across the story recently during their research on the country house.

They were sent to Chatsworth House from September 1939 until the war finished in September 1945.

Landscape architecture students Katie Wright, Carrie Bayles and Cindy To are creating a long border at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, which runs from June 5 to 9.

Their garden border, entitled ‘A Sense of Place’, is inspired by the experience of the Penrhos girls.

Miss Wright, said: “Learning about the girls and their story has touched us all personally. As women ourselves, we understand how these crucial teenage years shape the women you become and this inspired us to create a design which looks at their experience at Chatsworth.

“We would like to get in contact with the girls who boarded the house during this time, and invite them to come and see our long border. We are finding it difficult to track them down as we don’t have any contact details to get in touch.

“We would love for them to see our border and see what they think and also hear more about their time at Chatsworth.”

It is said condensation from the breath of the sleeping girls caused fungus to grow behind some pictures on the walls, and there was a shortage of hot water with so many people accommodated in the house.

Anyone who knows an evacuee who stayed at Chatsworth can contact the students via yp.newsdesk@jpimedia.co.uk

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