A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Franciscan Convent, Woodchester

A Photographic Record

Two of these photographs show the orphanage of 1865 but pre-date the erection of the Chapel Wing which was completed in 1869. Other photographs would appear to be from the 1870s and a few are from the twentieth century.

The Franciscan Convent at Woodchester was a daughter house of Taunton and was established in 1860. The nuns became Poor Clares in 1973 and finally left in 2011.



In 1994 the late Sister Francis Agnes Onslow outlined the work carried out by members of the community at that time:

Franciscan Convent 25



Woodchester 15

Woodchester 35

Woodchester 13

Woodchester 11

Woodchester 10

Woodchester 14

Woodchester 9

Woodchester 1

Woodchester 2

Woodchester 6

Woodchester 3

Woodchester 8

Woodchester 7

Woodchester 37

Woodchester 4

Woodchester 5

Woodchester 12

Woodchester 30.jpg

Woodchester 31

Woodchester 32

Woodchester 33.jpg

Woodchester 34

Woodchester 35.jpg




Mother Francis Stanislaus Sidgreaves 1860-1876

Mother Mary Joanna Luck 1876-1881

Mother Mary Josephine Hammond 1881-1885

Mother Mary Gonzaga Berington 1885-1891

Mother Mary Agnes Mostyn 1891-1910

Mother Francis Antony O’Leary 1910-1919

Mother Francis Dominic King 1919-1925

Mother Francis Antony O’Leary 1925-1934

Mother Francis Elizabeth Barry 1934-1961

Mother Mary Agnes Wright 1961-1983

Mother Mary Anthony Wigzell 1983-2003

Mother Irene Joseph Lynch 2003-2011


4 comments on “Franciscan Convent, Woodchester

  1. Roger Turner
    August 3, 2016

    How much of this is left, please

    • Richard Barton
      August 3, 2016

      All of the Convent is left except for the Orphanage Wing which was demolished during, I think, the late 1970s. That is the part with the hipped roof which is shown on the two early photos.

      • Roger Turner
        August 3, 2016

        Thanks. I’ve just looked on Google earth which seems to confirm what you say. Is it ever possible to see inside the chapel, do you know?

      • Richard Barton
        August 3, 2016

        Hello Roger. It is very accessible as the Convent is now a hotel, club and venue for live music (four nights a week). I was at a gig there only last Friday. The former workroom is the main gathering area where excellent food is served. The old library is the public bar and the former refectory is now a private members’ bar. It is one of my favourite places although it did seem rather odd welcoming in the New Year with Seth Lakeman in the former chapel where I celebrated my first Mass in 1995. Go and take a look! The Convent has a good website.

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