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Description: St Edward's Convent of Mercy, and School
Date Listed: 2 August 1983
English Heritage Building ID: 210068
OS Grid Reference: TQ2737582087
OS Grid Coordinates: 527375, 182087
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5233, -0.1654
In the entry for:-
TQ 2782 SW WESTMINSTER HAREWOOD AVENUE, NW1
2.8.83 No 11 St Edward's Convent
the entry shall be amended to read:-
TQ2782SW HAREWOOD AVENUE
1900- /33/7 St Edward's Convent of Mercy,
Convent, House of Mercy and Schools, 1850-2, to the designs of Gilbert Blount; Messrs. Smith and Appleford builders. Chapel designed by Edward Goldie, c. 1894. Ragstone facing; brick exposed to the south wall of the chapel nave; roofs of slate. Four ranges forming a quadrangle with narrow courtyard. The principal dormitory range to the east, when built faced Blandford Square. Two storeys over high basement; area enclosed by railings; second floor treated as gabled half-dormers, fourteen-window range. Gothic Revival style. Jagged silhouette produced
by succession of dormers. The entrance near the centre line set in slightly projecting range finishing in large gabled dormer; a broad dormer to the north. An oriel above entrance; above this a niche with statue of St Edward. Lancets with trefoiled heads grouped variously, some with mullions and transoms. Entrance flanked by setback buttresses; plank, studded door of original design; window to the left with reticulated tracery. The elements and finishes found on this
elevation repeated on the range to the quadrangle, the whole enlivened by chimney breasts, a greater variety of dormers and such idiosyncratic details as flying buttresses on south elevation and divided chimney breasts. Courtyard crowded with two-storey ranges housing basement and first-floor corridors. The south of quadrangle closed by two-window range structure with its own roof, bell cote to west gable; the position of this wing suggestss it postdates the dormitory
and west ranges, and is very likely contemporary with the chapel range. West elevation of House of Mercy, visible from Lisson Grove resembles the elevation to Harewood Avenue. The interiors retain many original features and details: fireplaces, doors pointed-arch diaphragm arches, strutted lean-to roofs and and open-well stair with original wood railings. The School is two storeys over basement with half dormers; on the west elevation the gable end and Gothic
windows are still visible above the post-war extension. The east gable end is wholly hidden by post-war infil. The north elevation with full-height projecting broaching at top to polygonal roof. The original school room was on the ground floor, rectangular in plan and having eight bays formed from heavy bridging joists; these strengthened by ironwork trusses detailed in the Gothic manner. First-floor hall of eight bays built as chapel; the wood trusses of interesting
construction, massive scissor trusses supported by cruck-like braces that spring from the floor.
Three segmental-arched fireplaces to south wall. The chapel. Square-ended chancel with painted wooden vault of three bays, the thin ribs making tracery patterns. Seven steps from chancel floor to carved stone altar and reredos: lamentation to altar front and censing angels to arcaded reredos. Moulded chancel arch with pedestal reliquaries at feet, the capital of each finely carved with naturalistic ornament, roses to the south and lilies to the north. Polychromed wood
statues on each pedestal. East and side walls of the chapel bare but for gilt-flamed paintings of religious figures; the east wall unfenestrated relieved on the outside by a sculpture niche. Three lancets to south side of chancel; watching gallery and vestry to north; the chancel linked to dormitory range by ribbed traceried turret; set back buttresses to exterior bays of chancel. Nave
of six roof bays, scissor-braced tie beams to stout principals, all simply stained. Organ off of three bays to west end, Victorian organ and case to north corner, the pipes with original colouring. Plain plastered elevations to interior relieved by painted and gilded sill band bearing inscription; in nave three canopied niches to each long elevation, each rifled with a free-standing
sculpture of good quality. The west end of the nave separated from the conventual area by a sliding wood screen of Gothic tracery.
History. The Sisters of Mercy were founded in Dublin in 1831. Their first convent in Britain was located in Bermondsey (destroyed in the Blitz).
There were also houses at Birmingham and Liverpool (also destroyed). These three were all by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. St Edward's was founded in Queen Square on 2 August 1844 as a religious and
welfare for the local poor (q.v, LB Camden).
TQ 2782 SW CITY OF WESTMINSTER HAREWOOD AVENUE, NW1
No 11 St Edward's Convent
Convent. c.1844, attributed to Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin; extensions and chapel to south (by Edward Welby Pugin?) Ragstone; slate roofs; chapel at south end has stock brick south flank. Irregular range of buildings with chapel projecting at south end, picturesque Gothic skyline of gables and turrets and cusped lancet fenestration. 3 storeys and attics. Wide asymmetrical distribution of window bays to east front but with central entrance under pointed archway, flanked by buttresses with 3-light mullioned oriel above,
surmounted by 2 lancets and canopied figure in crucifix finialed steep
gable. Irregular flanking bays with single, paired and triple-casement
lancets between buttresses and paired lancets only to gables. Continuous
bandcourse at ground and 2nd floor levels, the latter stopping at oriel.
The later chapel has octagonal, finialed and crocketed tower at junction
with main range, and a spirelet on south side.
Listing NGR: TQ2737582087
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.