Nazareth House, Carlisle, Cumberland
In 1924, the former Chadwick Memorial School on Etterby Scaur, in the Stanwix district of Carlisle, was taken over by the Sisters of Nazareth. The premises then bceame an orphanage for boys, known as Nazareth House.
In the late 1930s, accommodation was provided for refugess from the Spanish Civil War. During the Second World War, the site took in children evacuated from other Nazareth Houses around the country. In May 1939, boys came from the Aberdeen Nazareth House after their dormitories were destroyed by a fire there. They returned to Aberdeen in July 1941. In late 1939, girls from the Newcastle Nazareth House were evacuated to Carlisle, where they remained until March 1944. Boys from the Southend Nazareth House, initially evacuated to Cheltenham, were transferred to Carlisle in November 1941.
After the war, the army heard of the dilapidated state of the premises, which the nuns could not afford to redecorate. A group of soldiers at Newcastle, awaiting their discharge, was sent over the home to paint it from top to bottom. The army supplied the yellow paint!
In 1951, the property was sold to the Augustinian Friars and re-opened as the Austin Friars School, now the Austin Friars St Monica's School.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Sisters of Nazareth Archive, Sisters of Nazareth Archive, Nazareth House, 169-175 Hammersmith Road, London W6 8DB. The archivist is Christine Hughes. The archive contains material from the very beginnings of the order in the 1850s up until the present day. The archive is not open to the public and does not have facilities for personal searchers, although exceptions can be made for Sisters and for academic researchers. Enquiries are welcomed by post only for privacy and confidentiality reasons and replies are by also letter. There is no fee for dealing with enquiries, although donations to the Sisters are appreciated.
- Behind the sandstone walls: the comprehensive history of Austin Friars School (1996, Octagon Productions)
- Fothergill, Anne Memoirs of a Nazareth House Girl (2013, Quoin Publishing). Memories of the Middlesbrough Nazareth House.
- Gray-Wilson, Shirley It isn't Always Raining: Children in Care, 1939-1948 (2000). Life in the Carlisle and Newcastle Nazareth Houses.
- Kelly, Judith Rock Me Gently: A Memoir Of A Convent Childhood (2006, Bloomsbury). A memoir of life at Bexhill Nazareth House in the early 1950s. The factual veracity of this book has been challenged, and charges of plagiarism levelled against the author (e.g. see Catholic Herald 2/9/2005). The introduction to the current edition of the book acknowledges some of these criticisms.
- Reilley, Frances Suffer The Little Children: The True Story of An Abused Convent Upbringing (2009, Orion). Memories of the Belfast Nazareth House.
- Nuns 'abused hundreds of children' (Guardian article 16/8/1998)
- Sisters of No Mercy (Guardian article 1/4/2003)
- Compensation for care homes abuse (BBC News item 15/8/2006)
- Sisters of Nazareth become second Catholic order to admit to child abuse (Guardian article 14/1/2014)
- Children at Derry care homes were made to eat vomit, inquiry told (Guardian article 27/1/2014)
- A Time for Penance? (BBC Scotland 'Frontline' TV feature on abuse in Scottish Nazareth Houses)
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