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Training College, Former Convent of the Holy Child Jesus

A Grade II Listed Building in Hastings, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8538 / 50°51'13"N

Longitude: 0.5662 / 0°33'58"E

OS Eastings: 580721

OS Northings: 109172

OS Grid: TQ807091

Mapcode National: GBR PX9.KXJ

Mapcode Global: FRA D62V.2F2

Plus Code: 9F22VH38+GF

Entry Name: Training College, Former Convent of the Holy Child Jesus

Listing Date: 14 August 2006

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391734

English Heritage Legacy ID: 496156

Location: Central St. Leonards, Hastings, East Sussex, TN37

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Central St Leonards

Built-Up Area: Hastings

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Christ Church and St Mary Magdalen, St Leonards

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Listing Text

757/0/10089 MAGDALEN ROAD
14-AUG-06 St Leonards-on-Sea
Training College, former Convent of th
e Holy Child Jesus

Former school and training college. The northern part may have been built circa 1849 as part of a Girls Poor School and the south part added in 1856 as a purpose-built training college, both in Gothic style by William Wilkinson Wardell. Built of coursed stone rubble with ashlar dressings and slate roof in Gothic style. It is mainly of two storeys and attics, part of three storeys and attics, with 14 windows in all.

EXTERIOR: The west front of the northern section has a northernmost bay with two-light mullioned windows and then three bays with ogee-arched windows with double lancets and three gables with mullioned windows. To the south is a wide gable of three storeys and attic with central ogee-arched double lancet flanked by single lancet windows. To the north of the gable there is a narrow two storey staircase tower with lancet windows, battlements with cross-shaped decoration and triangular spire with ball finial. The east elevation is similar but has no staircase window. The later buildings attached to the ground floor are not of special interest. The western side of the southern part has five gabled dormers with mullioned windows and the lower floors have mullioned and transomed casements of two or three lights with trefoil heads. There is one buttress and an external stone chimneystack towards the northern end. The eastern side is similar but there are three buttresses and a central three storey square tower, under a squat broached spire, with two lancet windows and statue under a canopy over a cambered arched doorcase. The south end is gabled with arched tripartite gabled window with trefoil heads and a canted bay of two storeys and basement below with mullioned and transomed windows, the first floor with arched heads, the ground floor windows with flat arches. The interior has a wodden winder staircase to the northern part and a dogleg staircase with two stick balusters to each tread and newel posts with moulded finials and pendants.

INTERIOR: Some attic rooms have simple arched braced roofs and there are some four-panelled doors and simple wooden fireplaces with pilasters.

HISTORY: This building is situated on the western boundary of a large convent site, originally purchased in 1834 by the Rev. Jones with a bequest of £10,000 from Lady Stanley of Puddington. In 1848 nuns of the newly formed Catholic teaching order, "The Society of the Holy Child Jesus" moved into the convent. The architect William Wilkinson Wardell was employed to complete the convent building and design a Girls Poor School and entrance in the boundary walls, which had been erected in the middle of the 1830s. The foundation of the Girls Poor School was laid in 1849 and the entrance arch built in 1850. The Girls Poor School is now known as The Gatehouse. Wardell also built a presbytery on the site in 1856 and at about the same time the founder of the order, Cornelia Connelly, received permission from the Catholic church hierarchy to build a training college, which was built to the south of the girls Poor School. The entire building is shown on the 1873 Ordnance Survey map but it is likely that the northern part could have been built originally as part of the school, circa 1849, and the southern part was built as the training college circa 1856 as there is a change in character. The northern part has ogee-headed double lancet windows and the southern part trefoil-headed windows and there is a change in level at the junction of the two sections. The Training College closed in 1862 and he building became the Middle School. In 1883 the Middle School was re-located to Mayfield and the Junior School moved into the building. At this time a tunnel was built connecting the building to the main convent building. In 1914 it is thought that the northern part of the building was heightened by a storey. In 1974 "The Society of the Holy Child Jesus" moved the whole school to Mayfield and in 1976 the site was bought for use as a summer language school, in which use it has remained up to the present day.

STATEMENT OF IMPORTANCE: A little altered mid C19 Gothic style educational building by the notable Catholic architect William Wilkinson Wardell. Historically it is an important part of the story of the teaching order "The Society of the Holy Child Jesus", the first new native congregation of women founded in England since the Reformation, part probably having been built as part of the Girls Poor School of circa 1849, the rest purpose-built as a training college. It forms part of a number of listed buildings on the convent site, others also by the architect William Wilkinson Wardell.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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