St Laurence Convent, Field Lane, Belper

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TThe Anglican convent of the sisters of St Laurence situated in Field Lane is a fine building of stone three storeys high erected in 1882/1885 at a cost of £12,000. The sisters were engaged in parochial visiting and nursing. The rule of the sisters was based on that of East Grinstead.

The convent was erected on land purchased from the Strutt family. The foundress and first mother Superior was Ellen Lee who died in 1901. The gardens were carefully tended by a gardener and nearly every window had a colourful windowbox full of flowers. The building's fascia was covered over in Ivy at the end of the Victorian period.

The chapel contained several stained-glass windows in the North and South walls and an organ in the West End. This picture was by Edward Bala around 1900. An orphanage and school were also run from the convent.

The convent was converted into flats and houses in 2004 by Peveril Homes. While the three-storey brick houses surrounding the dormitory and chapel of the convent seemed incongruous at the time of building, and those of us who could remember the tranquil garden with its lawns, old trees and birdsong, we can begrudgingly say that it is not the absolute eyesore that we are first feared.

The Protestant order of St Laurence sisterhood was established in Belper in 1877 and Field Lane Convent was built on land purchased from the Strutts, with Father E.A. Hillyard, the Christchurch vicar, and Ellen Lee the foundress offered guidance.

The Community of St. Laurence (CSL) is an Anglican religious order of nuns. Established in 1874, the order's house is located in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England. The community was originally established to provide pastoral care, but now focuses more on retreat work and assisting at the cathedral of the Diocese of Southwell.

Community of St Laurence
Founded 1874
Registered Charity : No. 220282 (UK)

link to a page about their religious order and contact details

The Sisters cared for the ' Treasures' of the Church - those in need of love and care, including elderly ladies. In the 1990s more time was given to Retreat Work after the Residential House was closed, and in 2001 the Community moved to a new purpose-built convent in Southwell, adjacent to Sacrista Prebend Retreat House. The Sisters support the work of the Cathedral and Retreat House as they are able. Address: Convent of St Laurence , 4 West Road, Southwell, Notts

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