Houses of Sacred Compassion

From Historical Hastings
1873 Mapping Priory Road.png
General information
Address179-181 Priory Road
Postal CodeTN343JD
Loading map...

Admin. Information
Prop. Ref. No.100060036744

Priory Road elevation of St. Mary's Lodge

The Houses of Sacred Compassion were a group of substantial buildings surrounding the junction of St. Thomas's Road and Priory Road and stretching down as far as St. George's Road. St. Mary's Lodge was the largest building on the southern side of the junction at number 179, with Penrhyn Lodge on the opposite corner at number 181.

1908 Mapping

Constructed prior to 1872, the buildings were run as a home for 'sick and crippled children' from the late 19th century until the 1950s by an Anglican Order of nuns, together with another property on similar lines in Atherstone, Warwickshire[1]. Mother Cordelia Hart was recorded as being the matron in 1900, with the outstanding debt for the purchase of the property standing at £850 at that time[2]. Funding would appear to have been by means of both taking in laundry and the organisation of various craft fairs/sales of goods throughout this period[3].

Tragedy befell one of the sisters who worked at the home in 1916. Whilst attaching cords to a blind on one of the landings on the 4th of December that year, 52 year old Amy Wallington who had been at the home for thirty years was seen to fall from a set of steps with a pen-knife in her hand, struggling to undo a knot. The witness to the inquest, a lay-assistant at the home Grace Baker called for help, but other than perhaps taking a few breaths, Amy had expired from heart failure. The inquest was informed by the results of a post-mortem that Ms Wallington had died from a syncope caused by her reaching above her head; her right lung and heart being badly diseased together with both kidneys. A verdict was returned of 'Death from Natural Causes'[4]

In the 1950s, a chapel was added to the rear of St. Mary's Lodge (then known as 'St. Mary's Home', the site briefly becoming 'accommodation for elderly ladies', by means of erecting internal partitions in the dormitories in 1964[5] (possibly the sisters of the order) before being re-developed as housing in the mid-1960s to around 1972.

Plans of St. Mary's Lodge in 1956


References & Notes

  1. Childrens Homes Atherstone Home
  2. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 9 June 1900 Pg. 0005
  3. British Newspaper Archive Bexhill Observer 22 April 1899 Pg. 0007
  4. British Newspaper Archive Sussex Daily News 6 December 1916 Pg. 0006
  5. Hastings Borough Council Planning application ref HS/64/00205