St Martha's Convent

Reproduced with permission from the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder, 1990

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

m) ST.MARTHA'S CONVENT: The order originated in France in 1643, but the Rottingdean convent was founded in 1903 and moved in 1924 to the present buildings which stand on a site formerly occupied by Rudyard Kipling's miniature rifle-range. There are a number of small flint buildings and walls in the grounds, while the R.C. Primary School of Our Lady of Lourdes, opened in 1969, stands nearby.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

Photo:St Martha's Convent

St Martha's Convent

Photo by Tony Mould

This page was added on 14/01/2008.
Comments about this page

I have very happy memories of the Convent. It was my first school 1947/49 and I well remember Sister Michael Mary and Sister Veronica who taught me the piano. I have a school group photograph of that period. I wonder where they are all now.

By Barry White (02/12/2009)

I was a boarder from 1953-1963. I too remember Sr. Michael Mary, Sr. Veronica, Sr. Mary Pauline. It remains one of my happiest memories.

By Tina O'Brien (nee Smith) (06/04/2010)

My mother Marjorie Eileen Murrell went to a convent in Brighton in or around 1920 or so. There was a long driveway up to it and her mother took her there when she was little. She was a Holford grandchild and her mother left her and her other brother and sisters and went to Canada. Their names were Beatrice, Jimmy, Elsie, Dorothy and Marjorie (my mother).

By Jean Farrington (24/07/2011)

Recently alighted on this site only to find some discrepancies with regard to the religious staff of St Martha's Convent. Sr Veronica was never a teacher, as far as I know, as she was clearly not educated enough. She did, however, become a sort of 'matron' for the senior boarders in 'Pax'. Sr Mary Helen taught Latin and also introduced the more senior girls to playing cards for chocolate halfpennies! Sr Michael Mary did teach 'the little ones' as they were referred to - what happened to her? Sr Margaret Mary left the Convent and the headmistress in 1950 was Sr St Gerard who was killed in an accident in a train as it entered the St Gothard tunnel on its way to Rome. A school party was on a pilgrimage to Rome. I was a boarder from approx. 1943 - 1950. There were a couple of lay teachers at the time, Miss Feeney and Miss McGrath - any one remember? Fr O'Brien was the priest at the time and masses were held in the Chapel - no St Margaret's had been built yet. Chime in if you have any other information or memories - would love to hear from anyone.

By G. Barbara Holden (nee Fisher) (10/10/2011)

I was a day girl at St Martha's from approx. 1959 to 1962. I think I remember a Sister Mary Pauline. Can anyone tell me the name of the headmistress at that time? There was a girl called Odette who was in my class but I can't remember any other names.

By Niki Britt (25/05/2015)

After all these years there has been no further news re the above questions. Anyone with a scrap of information, please chime in. I do recall a girl by the name of Betty Negus. She is now married and lives in Portugal. Where are the others - Ann Branford, Patty Haslett, Lavender Bennett, Dora Mills, Annette Mills, Deidre Stansell, Anne Romaine, Avril de Coverley, Jennifer Kramer ( a 'little one" ) etc.?

By Gloria Holden (nee Fisher) (12/10/2017)

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