The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Nazareth House - Nottingham


Photographs | Contacts | Memories | Map


The history of Nazareth House features prominently in Issue No.25 of Lenton Times


Photographs

An aerial view featuring the Nazareth House site - taken before the demolition team moved on site in 2005.

The following set of photographs were taken by Peter Gadsby, who was employed as a handyman/gardener at Nazareth House. Peter took the photos after the announcement that Nazareth House was to close but before the inevitable decline in the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings and grounds set in.

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

The original building occupied by Nazareth House was this castellated house previously known as 'Lenton Priory' and built by William Stretton.

A closer view of Lenton Priory - in later years it was known as the Bishop's House.

The view of the Bishop's House from the main garden.

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

This is part of the three storey extension built for Nazareth House in the late nineteenth century.

The gardens attached to Nazareth House were quite extensive as can be seen in this photograph.

The chapel was specially built for the nuns with the main entrance from Priory Street visible to the right of the photograph.

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Nuns who died while living at Nazareth House were subsequently buried in the grounds in the small graveyard shown in this photograph.

A close-up of the graveyard.

An item of religious statuary set up in a corner of the garden area.

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Photograph by Peter Gadsby

Part of the garden.

The tall tree in the centre of the previous photograph is also in this shot but we are now looking from the other side where the foreground reveals a small ornamental water feature.

The same water feature from a slightly different angle with the main buildings of Nazareth House just visible in the distance.


Paul Bexon was able to gain access to the grounds of Nazareth House soon after the demolition team arrived on site and took the following set of photographs in August 2005. Occasionally Paul was able to take the odd inside shot but as the interiors of the buildings were being gutted, for the most part he was only given access to the grounds.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

The Nazareth House name plate fixed to the wall on the Abbey Street frontage.

To the left of the nameplate this madonna and child was also attached to the Abbey Street frontage.

The Abbey Street frontage was the most recent part of the Nazareth House complex erected in the 1960s.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

A view of the building at the Priory Street junction. The only things visible in this shot that are still with us [in early 2006] are the tree, the traffic lights and a portion of the stone-built perimeter wall.

The 'Bishop's House' is going to be the only portion of the Nazareth House complex that will be retained in the new housing complex built on the site.

A close up of the water feature, seen in the middle of the lawn in the previous shot, already showing the signs of neglect.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

This shot shows the initial extensions to the original building plus the end of the three storey building built in the later part of the nineteenth century.

The three storey wing that ran alongside Priory Street as seen from inside the grounds.

Paul Bexon obtained this view looking along a ground floor corridor of the portion of the building in the previous photograph by shooting through the window - hence the reflection evident in the actual photograph.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Nipping in through an open door he was able to snap one of the ground floor bedrooms which was just about to be gutted prior to demolition.

The same room but focusing on the view from the window. The top of the perimeter wall is just visible and beyond it the upper floor of The Boat Inn.

Further along the Priory Street wing it is evident that there were further additions to the building in more recent times probably added at the same time as the Abbey Street wing.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

The rear of the Abbey Street wing that can be seen in earlier photographs.

Just in case residents had any doubts as to where they currently resided the back rest to this 'bench' was there to remind them.

The Abbey Street wing can be seen in the background while to the left was a building that had originally served as the laundry.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

The old laundry building is seen to better advantage in this particular shot.

Viewed through a convenient window this is an interior view of the 'laundry' building just prior to its demolition.

In recent times modern laundry facilities were still housed in part of this building as can be seen in this photograph also taken through one of the windows.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Moving out into the grounds the main buildings can just be seen in the far distance.

The religious statuary shown in Peter Gadsby's photograph has already been removed and the garden area in front no longer looks so well tended.

While the developers are trying to retain some of the trees in the new development it remains to be seen if this eucalyptus is among the survivors.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

A view of the ornamental water feature that is now just history.

The same part of the garden seen from a different angle.

Working our way round the garden the Bishop's House and chapel hove into view.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

A close-up of the previous view.

The back of the chapel is on our right and we are looking towards Abbey Street.

The same view but slightly further round to the right.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

A small graveyard area within the grounds of Nazareth House where some of the nuns are buried.


Nazareth House - Chapel

Photograph by Paul Bexon - August 2005

This 2005 shot shows the driveway of Nazareth House as it passed the chapel. In the distance one of the properties on Priory Street can just be seen.

A 2002 view of the eastern end of the chapel


Nazareth House - People

Photograph from Pauline Wroe nee Watkins

Photograph from Pauline Wroe nee Watkins

Photograph from Angela Murray nee McDonald

Taken from the pages of the Nottingham Journal civic dignitaries are shown during their visit to Nazareth House in 1947 with some of the children in the nursery.

Girls in the Nazareth House 'orchestra' performing out at Tollerton in 1951.

Angela McDonald in 1951 with a portion of the old house to her left and the new chapel building lying behind her to the right.

Photograph from Angela Murray nee McDonald

Photograph by

Photograph from Dolores Draper

The five McDonald sisters and other girls from Nazareth House posing for their photograph in 1951/2 along with two of their brothers who were visiting for the day. Angela McDonald is the small child busy eating while standing in front of her brother. Her sister, Dolores, is the girl being held aloft by the other brother. Patricia Phillips (née Moriarty) recognised herself in 2015 as the girl standing on the right with her arms folded across her chest.

Taken in the grounds of Nazareth House in c.1952 these girls are about to take part in their first Holy Communion.

The girls at Nazareth House frequently put on little stage shows. This photograph, probably taken in 1953 or 1954, shows the cast of one of these shows with Bishop Edward Ellis standing among them.

Photograph from Pauline Wroe nee Watkins

Photograph courtesy of Margaret Enefer.

Photograph courtesy of Margaret Enefer

A photograph, probably taken in 1956, showing a group of girls plus one boy from Nazareth House enjoying a day trip to Skegness.

Margaret Sullivan was resident at Nazareth House in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This photograph shows children posing for their photograph with Father Jones. For their actual names access the large version.

Margaret O Sullivan and Barbara Brain posing for their picture in the early 1960s.

Photograph from Pauline Wroe nee Watkins

Photograph from Pauline Wroe

A group of Nazareth House girls pose for their photograph with Father Jones. Date of photograph unknown.

This undated photograph was clearly taken for some sort of special occasion - but we don't know what it was. Now courtesy of Dolores Draper we have names for some of those children seen in the photograph.


Photograph from Pauline Wroe

Photograph from Pauline Wroe

Pauline Wroe recently [December 2014] supplied us with copies of these photographs so that they could be added to the Nazareth House web page. We have yet to acquire any information indicating when the photographs may have been taken; the names of any of the people shown in photographs; or where the seaside view may have been taken. Anyone who thinks they might be able to help with 'our inquiries' is asked to get in touch with us by email. Once we have the relevant information we'll add it to each photograph and provide access to larger versions of them.



Contacts

Click on name for email contact


Lorna Grundy née Tenny


In the process of tracing my family history I have hit a brick wall concerning a certain Aunty Julia who I was led to believe by certain family members had spent some time in her later years at Nazareth House. I have been in touch with the headquarters of the Nazareth House in London but they deny any knowledge of anyone with the name of Julia having been a resident there during the 1940s or early 1950s. Unfortunately I do not have a definite surname, it could any one of the following, Fox, Glover, Richards or Walkerdine depending on which side of the family she originated from. She would have been in her late seventies early eighties at this time. If anyone has any recollection of this lady I would love to hear from them.



Allison Bailey


I would be very interested to hear from anyone who remembers Joan Mary Cross. She lived at Nazareth House from the late 1940s to the early 1960s - arriving there at a mere eighteen months old. Joan was my mother and sadly passed away in early 2015. I would be interested to hear anyone's memories of her time at Nazareth House.



Joanne Setzer


Does anyone know the wherabouts of any of the staff who worked at the Nottingham Nazareth House in the early 70s? I am particularly interested in one of the staff members called Patsy, who wasn't one of the nuns. I understand she is married with children and still lives in Nottingham. Can you help me?



Lorraine Jackson (nee Clarke)


My name is Lorraine Jackson (formerly Clarke) and I was in Nazareth House from 1965-1973 from the age of 2 to 8 years with my twin brothers Antony and Steven Clarke. My memories of Nazareth house contain both happy and sad moments. Sister Reginald was in charge at the time. Does anybody remember us or have any photographs of that time if so I would love to hear from them.



Maureen Willetts (nee Moriarty)


I would like to make contact with anyone who was in Nazareth House at Lenton between 1948 and 1953 who might remember me and my sister, Patricia Moriarty.



Memories

Click on name for email contact


Kim Hicks


My lovely mum, Mona Mary Knapp, and three of her siblings, June Knapp, Teresa Knapp and Ellen Knapp,(Teresa and Ellen being twins) stayed at Nazareth House roughly between 1935-1939 until the war started and children were being evacuated. My mum was the youngest at three years old and only recalled dreadful memories of being there! She was separated from her sisters and made to scrub floors by the nuns. She remembered her mum visiting her and leaving her a doll. This was promptly taken from her! She also recalled that they were all taken to a ship in Liverpool, I believe, to be evacuated because of the outset of war, but my grandad arrived at the last moment and took them home to be dispersed among family members. I believe the ship was bombed during its passage to Canada. Being at Nazareth House had a negative long lasting effect on my mum, who sadly passed away nearly eight years ago now. Her sisters are still alive and are in their eighties and nineties now, and living in Leicestershire. They are all beautiful ladies.



Carlene Mayer - Gettysburg, PA


My grandmother, Mabel Staines, was born in 1913 but spent her entire childhood at Nazareth House in Nottingham. She had two close friends there who I later came to know as Great Aunts Hildy and Bertha. Mabel's father was supposed to have been Rupert Staines, who was from a well-to-do family. Apparently Rupert was the black sheep of the family but one of his ancestors was supposed to have been Lord Mayor of London in 1801. My understanding is that Mabel's mother was called Margaret O'Brien. Mabel later married Arthur Warner, a coal miner and lived in Nottingham and then Nuthall. They had two daughters, Doreen and Patricia who both married servicemen and moved to the States. Mabel Warner eventually passed away in 2013.



Joanne Peters


My name is Joanne Peters. My brothers, my two sisters and I were all sent to live at Nazareth House in Nottingham. I don't recall when we actually arrived there but I do know that I left there, aged seven, in 1977. My sisters and I were housed on one floor and my brothers had their beds on the floor below. I went to live with foster parents in 1977 but my brothers and sisters remained at Nazareth House until the following year, when we all went to live at the NCH at Harpendon.

I can't really recall much about the nuns themselves. I do, however, remember Patsy, one of the helpers - she was my favourite. I can also recall that we all had our meals together in a big room and I seem to remember going to services in the church on the site. My brothers in particular have a number of bad memories about living at Nazareth House. They still live in England but I currently reside in America.



Patricia Phillips (nee Moriarty)


From about 1946 until 1952 my sister, Maureen Moriarty and I (Patricia Moriarty) were residents of Nazareth House. I wondered whether anyone who was there at the time remembers us? We both had bright red hair if that helps jog the memory! If so, do get in touch!

I am also trying to locate a newspaper story that would have featured in the local newspapers in 1947. It relates to a lady jumping into a river and pulling a young boy to safety. The lady in question was my late mother, Mrs Millicent Moriarty. At the time she would have lived either on Goodwin Street or Queens Drive. If anyone has come across this story and can give me more specific details as to where I might find it I would love to hear from them.



Madge McClary


My name is Marjorie (Madge) McClary. Owing to unfortunate family circumstances I was placed in Nazareth House in the early to mid 1950s when I was about four years of age. Looking on your Nazareth House page I noticed the name Patsy Norris. Patsy was definitely in the Nursery at the same time as me. Aged six, children were meant to leave the Nursery and go downstairs to Mother Placidus (a misnomer if ever there was one). My father persuaded the powers that be to allow me to stay a bit longer in the Nursery. There, we were under the care of Sister Gabriel and Nurse Alice, who later became Mrs Alice Knipe. Sister Gabriel and Nurse Alice were always kind and attentive. I do not believe that any child in their care was treated other than with great care and love. We, my father and later myself, remained in touch with both of them for the rest of their lives. I can still recall my friends Janet Jones, Suzette and Ruthie (who spent a lot of time in Harlow Wood hospital) and I also remember the Short twins, Katy and her brother Kevin. I was terrified of Chrissy who meted out quite harsh punishments for very minor breaches of the rules.

We eventually went to the school in London Road and I have fond memories of Miss DaVira (sic) and Mrs Shaw who took us home for tea once. At some point I contracted chicken pox and when my father came to visit me he was shocked to find me so sick and without medical treatment. He gathered me up and drove through the night to his parents in Cornwall whereupon the family GP was summoned; I never returned to Nazareth House. By now I had probably reached the age of six.

In 1984 I managed to find enough courage to return in an attempt to lay the ghosts. I was welcomed and treated with great compassion but throughout my visit could not control the shaking and extreme emotion that the visit engendered. I have often thought about what had happened to Janet, Suzette, Ruthie and Katy and have always hoped that they that managed to live full and successful lives.

I would be most interested in finding out what has happened to my friends.



Linda Colbourn (nee Harrison) - Peterborough


My grandfather Elijah Harrison, and after his death my uncle, Gordon Harrison, owned the gent's hairdressing salon across on the other side of Abbey Street from Nazareth House. I lived with my aunt and uncle in the flat behind the salon for a few years and Gordon told me how he came to know several of the nuns. They would come over to the hairdressers in order to buy their 'forbidden' cigarettes and to get their lighters refilled. I can remember seeing them coming in and out of the salon and being only fifteen or sixteen at the time. As I recall I seem to have been rather intimidated by them.



Peter Lowe


Soon after my birth my mother, for best reasons known to her, placed myself and my older sister, Carol, in Nazareth House at Lenton. We remained there from 1951 to 1957. It was not a happy place to be, chiefly because of the bullying and intimidation carried out by some of the nuns. My sister wet the bed on one occasion and a nun made her walk along the corridor with the wet sheets on her head, I would wet the bed as well but, fortunately, I wasn't put through this particular humiliation. Nevertheless I would have my wet sheets put in the bath with me the following morning. Treatment like this was meted out to other boys and girls time and time again. Other humiliations awaited us on a daily basis in the classroom run by the nuns. In my eyes they were nothing less than evil bitches. There was no good reason why they had to treat us in this fashion. And just to add to our potential discomfort lots of the kids once saw this spectral figure with its head covered in a brownish cloth walking up and down the corridor outside our dormitories during the early morning.

I have recently been on to an internet chartroom where I described treatments meted out by the nuns and have now discovered that similar things were going on in these homes throughout the country, which means that blighted childhoods were far more common than I had supposed.



Margaret Leonardi


Photograph courtesy of Margaret Leonardi Photograph courtesy of Margaret Leonardi From 1924 to 1938 my mother, Peggy Hind (nee Cox), was brought up at Nazareth House. After she was married she was employed as a domestic at Nazareth House and continued to work there until she retired at the age of sixty. Her sisters, Mary and Helen, were also occupants of Nazareth House. Mary never married and stayed on at Nazareth House and was employed in the wash house and also helped with the elderly ladies and gentlemen. She lived and died there in her Pirelli slippers. Their sister, Helen, was the exception and after leaving Nazareth House took up a career in the R.A.F.

As my mother worked there I used to go on some of the trips the girls had to the seaside. Charlie Herd, who was employed as the van driver at Nazareth House, would then become the coach driver for the day



Annette Lolley (nee Oldham)


I am proud to be Dunkirk born and bred, and regularly keep up with news at home via the Lenton Times website, as I now live in North Wales.

I was so sad to hear of the demolition of Naggy House as we always called it.

As a youngster I lived on nearby Warwick Street, and occasionally played in the grounds of Nazareth House. Although local children were generally not encouraged to do so, the nuns used to pity me as I was disabled, and so I used to get invited in. I can recall them having a resident donkey, whom I loved to stroke. Dunkirk mothers often used to tell naughty children that if they didn't behave they would put them in Naggy House! But it never held any horrors for me.




Let us know your memories of Nazareth House




Do you have any historical information or other photographs relating to Nazareth House? If so, email us with the details or write to us.




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