Towers Convent School
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|Chair of Governors||Sr Mary Andrew Fulgoney, S.S.S.|
|DfE URN||126124 Tables|
|Gender||Girls; Boys (ages 2-8)|
The Towers Convent School (colloquially called "The Towers") is an independent Roman Catholic day school for girls aged 2-16 and boys up to age 8 in Upper Beeding near Steyning, West Sussex, England. Housed in a French chateau, it is located in the semi-rural outskirts of Steyning, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Shoreham-by-Sea.
The Towers Convent School was founded by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. They had left France for England to escape the increasing anti-religious environment, having been invited by Mrs.Maling Wynch, a friend of the Congregation, to take up residence at The Towers, currently leased by her brother-in-law. The first pupils arrived from France in 1903 to begin classes. After renting The Towers for several years, Mrs Elizabeth Maling Wynch (later to become Sister Mary Agnes), bought the property, and left it to the Congregation in her will.
During World War II the school was not evacuated but the Sisters lived in perpetual fear of being bombed, given their proximity to the coastline. Sele Court, a nearby building, was used by the 3rd Canadian Division and 15th Scottish Division as temporary accommodation in preparation for the D-Day landings. Prior to their departure, the men often took part in the convent's chapel services.
After the War ended, the school went through a period of modernisation and development. Sele Court was purchased and now houses the junior school. Modern amenities such as a gymnasium, science labs and a new library were added. In 2003, a century after school was founded, the first lay head, Carole Baker, was appointed.
Towers Convent takes its name from the building and its surrounding premises it occupies. Records indicate that "The Towers" has existed at least as far back as 1750 although it is believed to have pre-existed this date. It was once owned by the Lord of the Manor of Beeding. The Towers was sold to a Mr George Smith during the 1870s. The original building was completed in 1883 and was described as a "monument to Victorian extravagance" or "Smith's folly" due to its high construction cost (for that time). The Towers was turned into a hunting lodge before the Sisters took over. The original buildings were designated Grade II listed buildings in 1980.