The convent was built in 1870.
It was used for the last time in 1994. Because of dwindling numbers of Nuns and Mass attendees, and rising costs of maintenance, the decision was made to sell up and merge with Sclerder Abbey, near Looe in Cornwall.
In 2009, the Chapel caught on fire and was destroyed. Arson was never proven, but never ruled out.
Thankfully, only the chapel was damaged by fire.
I have lost count of the amount of times I have visited here. I only ever managed to get as far as the burned out church. The rest was sealed tightly.
Recently the convent was acquired by Chichester Free School. I managed to get permission to visit at last.
Permission has taken about 12 months, mainly due to the Govt Education Department getting involved, making sure I would be insured to visit, etc. A painfully long process but hey ho, here now!
There is now 24/7 security onsite and it's heavily alarmed, so not worth trying!!
It's not as ornate as I'd hoped but still a very attractive building. It seems that the chapel was the most ornate part.
The school wishes to keep as much of the original building intact thankfully. Part of the chapel will have to be demolished as it is beyond saving.
Alfred Cheeseman. Cheesman & Co were the building contractors. They owned a brickworks at nearby Bosham.
Thanks for looking