Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Before it was a church

Founded in 1883 by the Misses Lucy and Florence Tilly. It was a continuation of Hardwicke House, Kent Town opened in 1872 by Mrs Claude Shuttleworth. Forty or more country girls were kept as boarders and a full school of day scholars. It was a non denominational girl’s school, but a large number of Methodist families chose to send their daughters here. Lucy and Florence born 1857 and 1859 came from England trained to a teaching role new among women. Both held the senior Cambridge University Certificate and were Associates of the College of Preceptors and they had experience in English schools teaching French and German.

The building was designed by their father, the architects Evans and Evans and Mr Ferguson the contractor. It contained twenty lofty bedrooms upstairs and three large school rooms downstairs linked by folding doors, so that a full length of 70 feet could be opened up for concerts and assemblies. Drawing rooms, dining room, housekeepers office, kitchen and laundry facilities were provided and bathrooms on both floors. Six music rooms holding nine pianos were used, their was a strong focus on music and singing. Their mother acted as house keeper.

Hard blue stone was used with red brick dressings. The outer walls were made thick to moderate the extremes of temperature.

The Tilly sisters retired in 1910 and ten years later sold the building to a furniture removalist who used it for storage.

M. Varoneckas puchased the property in the late 1950's and later sold it to the Lithuanian Catholic Association.

No comments: