Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School
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|Location||147 Central Hill, Upper Norwood
|DfE URN||131280 Tables|
Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School, is a Roman Catholic voluntary aided secondary school located in the London Borough of Croydon, England. The school is for girls aged 11–19. The school is situated within extensive grounds at Upper Norwood, South London. The school has a strong Catholic doctrine and the religious ideals of the foundress influences the school's ethos and educational methods.
The convent is part of the Congregation of Our Lady of Fidelity, an international Roman Catholic religious organisation, consisting of over seventy (70) Sisters worldwide. It was founded in France in 1831, where its Generalate is located at La Deliverande, Normandy.
The original building on the site was a 'Haunting Lodge' (of unknown age). In the late 1700s, the building was owned by the Earls of Bristol., and was known as Norwood House, the residence of the notable socialite Mary Nesbitt, King George III is reputed to have stayed there. In the early 1800s the lodge was sold and became known as the "Lodge Hotel".
Virgo Fidelis Convent School was founded on 14 September 1848 by Mother Saint Mary (Henriette le Forestier d'Osseville; 1803–1858) under the patronage of Cardinal Wiseman and with funds provided by her father, Count Theodose le Forestier d'Osseville. Hearing of the needs of Catholic orphan children on London's Victorian streets, she sought funding and support from the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican, establishing in the old Haunting Lodge and the attached farm, the first Catholic Orphanage in England since the repeal of the reformation act and forming the eldest of the French Order's daughter house's, the Congregation of Our Lady of Fidelity (Upper Norwood, London). Quickly out growing the Haunting Lodge and with further donations and collections across England and Ireland, new building work started in 1856 and continued in phases over fifty years to form the expansive Victorian gothic 'Penguin' styled Quad shaped building which survives today, mirroring the mother house in Normandy, France and housing the expanding needs of the Orphanage and Convent at Upper Norwood, Virgo Fidelis Convent Schools, Virgo Fidelis Church and Our Lady's School and finally a new Convent Nunnery. The old Hunting Lodge becoming home to the 'Lower School' (1856-1997) which later became the independent Virgo Fidelis Preparatory School (renamed Henriette Le Forestier Preparatory School' from September 2016).