The original 17th century house purchased by Frances Bedingfield in 1686 was replaced by the fine 18th century Georgian buildings (Grade 1 listed) which stand today.

The Entrance Hall which greets you on arrival was once an open court, surrounded by 18th century buildings. GT Andrews (the architect for the ‘old' York railway station) was responsible for the mid 19th century addition of the glass roof over the central court. The Maw tiled floor was then added, with the Coalbrookdale iron furniture and plants which are so much a part of the Victorian character of the Entrance Hall, to create what was then referred to as the ‘Winter Garden'.

The building programme began in 1766 when Mother Ann Aspinal appointed Thomas Atkinson to build new accommodation for the school and community. It took over twenty years to complete, beginning with the beautiful neo-classical Chapel, hidden from view at the back of the complex, and ending in 1788 with the demolition of the original house and its replacement with the present frontage.

Further construction was carried out by the Atkinson firm: the school dining room, now the Bedingfield conference room (1793) and the Community wing (1834). In 1844 GT Andrews was appointed to add kitchens and rebuild the Day School for the local children. The 19th century Day School buildings now house the Exhibition, and the kitchens have been converted into the Gascoigne and Aspinal conference rooms.

These buildings remain today and recall the history of the convent and the sisters who made it memorable by their service here.

Our thanks to Sr Patricia Harriss CJ for her invaluable contribution to this page.

  • Museum Parlour, featuring historic portraits of important members of the community
  • Original Hindley clock (1770) looking onto the central atrium
  • Hidden neo-classical Chapel built in 1769 by Thomas Atkinson - architect of York Railway Station
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