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Report - College of the Holy Child Jesus - Hastings - October '11


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28DL Full Member
(Convent of the Golden Cock).


The building is situated on the western boundary of a large convent site, originally purchased in 1834 by the Rev. Jones with a bequest of loads of money 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.

After finding our way on site, and patching One Flew East up, we made our way to an access point. Getting half way through I realised that, A, I would either slip and crack my head open, or B, I would get stuck.

I gave that one a miss, and luckily found another way in, which only involved a little back-bending.

The place is mint, with even the lights and water still on.










On to the second building.. We didn't manage to get into the chapel, although from looking through the windows, it too is full of stuff still.








Thanks for looking.

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