THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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DR. NEALE AND ST. MARGARETS.                 209
serious injury. The owner of the house occupied in
East Grinstead had conscientious scruples about allowing
the Sisters to remain there any longer and they had to
seek premises elsewhere. For a while they sought a
home in vain, but finally rented premises, also in Church
Street and nearer the main road, subsequently acquiring
also the house where Mr. F. M. Wilcox now carries on
his saddlery business, and afterwards getting the use also
of the two adjoining houses. The premises were found
most convenient and here the Sisters remained from
Midsummer, 1858, until the present head-quarters were
ready in 1870. Prior to this change the original scope
of the work had been enlarged. Early in 1857 Miss
Elizabeth Neale, who had for some time carried on an
Orphanage at Brighton, was invited to take charge of a
Sisterhood at St. George's-in-the-East, and at her request
her brother took over the orphans and placed them under
the charge of the Sisters at East Grinstead, a house
being specially hired in the town. Dr. Neale took
for the purpose the house known as The Hollies in
London Road, where Mr. Henry Young now resides.
It was called St. Katherine's Orphanage and two Sisters
were placed in charge. This is his own simple, delightful
description, from one of his children's books, of the house
as it was then :-" This house stood by the roadside on
the outskirts of a country town. It was built of brick,
but in summer it had white roses that climbed very
prettily over it. On one side was a fruit garden, on the
other a little paddock ; and in the distance there were
pretty blue hills. If you went in, on the left hand was a
kind of school room, and on the right a parlour; and if
you went upstairs, there were bedrooms for a number of
children, and beyond these a little chapel, where these
children went in to prayers." The Orphanage was only
located here until Midsummer, 1858, when it was removed
to one of the houses adjoining the Home in the Higli
Street and re-named St. Margaret's Orphanage, by which
title it is still known.
St. Agnes' School for girls was opened in May, 1862, at the house in Moat Road where Mr. Charles Wood, the
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