Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre

Our History at New Hall

New Hall

In 1799 the Community took possession of New Hall, near Chelmsford in Essex.  The Community re-established the school with 18 pupils, and subsequently opened a "free" school for the children of the neighbourhood.

The first main building work was to convert the 18th century saloon into the Chapel, a Chapel used each day from then on. When the Community were living at New Hall  Divine Office was celebrated there each day. The Community were summoned to prayer by the great bell.

The school grew and, even at that early date, was remarkable in that both Protestants and Catholics came to it. In 1870, a century after the earlier expansion in Li├Ęge, more building was needed to accommodate increasing numbers in the school. This included the Ambulacrum (entrance hall), the main school staircase and the three storey block surrounding it. In accordance with the demands of education, there has been on-going building development, which continues today.

Apart from evacuation during the Second World War (to Newnham Paddox, near Rugby) the Community lived, prayed, taught and worked at New Hall until 2006. The initial handful of pupils has expanded to over a thousand today.

The Preparatory School founded in 1947 at Goodings, near Newbury, with just 14 pupils, relocated in 1953 to a bigger campus at Denford Park in Hungerford, all the time with a Religious Community living at the school. In 1967, with 150 pupils, Denford was closed and all resources were put into the development of New Hall Senior School. New Hall School virtually doubled in size. As a result, from being a boarding school of around 140 in the 1960s, New Hall became, by the 1980s, a large boarding and day Senior School for over 500 girls.

In 1986 the Community established a Pastoral centre, renovating a barn and landscaping the surrounding area. Retreats, spiritual accompaniment and a variety of courses took place at The Barn until 2006.

In 2005 a new Trust was set up for the school and buildings of New Hall. A new Governing Body was established to continue and develop the school and to take responsibility for the magnificent buildings of New Hall.