This picture is available to buy from our PHOTO SHOP



The Orphanage, Central Hill, Upper Norwood



This orphanage is notable as being the first Catholic orphanage in England since the Reformation.


It was set up in 1848 by a French Order of nuns called the Congregation of our Lady of Fidelity. The congregation was itself established in 1831 by Sister St Mary who devoted her life to the care of orphans and underprivileged children.


Sister St Mary and her congregation established a convent, called Virgo Fidelis (The Faithful Virgin) to which the orphanage was attached together with a school. The reason behind the establishment of the orphanage is thought to be concern about the number of orphans on the streets of London, not least because as a result of the devastating Famine in Ireland


The orphanage was bult by the nearby Effra river in a hunting lodge however, the need soon outgrew the buildings and, in 1871, a new Church and convent was built on the site.


The orphanage finally closed as an orphanage after the Second World War. However, the buildings carried on in use as a school.


The Church still stands and has on display its crowning glory, a statue of the Virgin Mary which was gifted by the orphans in 1878.






Convent of Our Lady of Fidelity (Upper Norwood)

147 Central Hill

Upper Norwood

London SE19 1RS