Cottage Home was a model of institutional ‘care’ which began in the United Kingdom in the late nineteenth century. Along with boarding out, cottage home accommodation was seen as an alternative to large scale dormitory-style accommodation (although cottage homes could house up to 40 children). Some cottages used the ‘family cottage’ model where a group of children lived with cottage parents, usually a married couple.
The model of the cottage Home was based on ideas that children had to be housed in a situation resembling the ‘normal’ family, if they were to develop into healthy, productive adults. It was also influenced by the assumption that ‘spatial designs could shape the individual’s identity and regulate his or her role in the larger society’ (Murdoch, Imagined Orphans, 2006).