Our current temporary exhibition celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Old Convent on Moat Road. The first phase of this Victorian complex opened on 20th July 1870. It was to become the largest Anglican religious house in the country.
Home to the Sisters of St Margaret until 1972, the Old Convent is now a Grade I listed building. Today it has been converted into a community of unique private homes.
Designed by the architect George Edmund Street, the Convent was commissioned by John Mason Neale, then Warden of Sackville College. Neale founded the Society of St Margaret in 1854. His aim was to provide nurses for the poorest people in society. His nuns were so successful that they were in demand throughout Britain and even set up daughter houses in America, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Many East Grinstead residents will remember the nuns and the school of St Agnes’ and St Michael that they ran on the convent site.
As part of the exhibition, we are hoping to collect peoples memories to contribute to an archive. The collection will show the important role the convent played in the town’s story. If you have any recollections of the school, please let us know.
A new history of the Old Convent, written by local author Dr Kathryn Ferry, will also be published to mark the anniversary.
Please note that due to the current COVID 19 restrictions, there are limited tickets available each day. Please visit our Museum Reopening Page for more details.