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House Groups

Harvington HouseHarvington House

Harvington Hall is a moated medieval and Elizabethan manor house in the hamlet of Harvington in the civil parish of Chaddesley Corbett, south-east of Kidderminster in the English county of Worcestershire. The priest-hides were built in the time of Humphrey Pakington, at the end of the 16th Century, when it was high treason for a Catholic priest to be in England. The hiding places at Harvington are the finest surviving series in England, and four of them, all sited round the Great Staircase, show the trademarks of the master builder of such places, Nicholas Owen, who was at work from 1588 onwards.

Chad HouseChad House

St Chad’s Cathedral is known across the world as a beautiful building with a remarkable history and a rich heritage. But it is first and foremost a House of God. St Chad’s is the Mother Church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham which covers five counties. It is a place for worship and prayer, a place where we can meet God and offer him our praise and thanksgiving and bring him our needs and concerns. Built between 1839 and 1841 to serve the rapidly expanding Catholic population in Birmingham through the inspiration of Bishop Thomas Walsh, the Vicar Apostolic of the Central District. It replaced a Georgian classical chapel built in 1808 by William Hollins. The present cathedral was designed in north German 13th century style by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852), the world famous pioneer of Gothic revival architecture, and was consecrated on 21st June 1841 by Bishop Walsh.

Maryvale HouseMaryvale House

Maryvale lies at the centre of the ancient settlement in Oscott, about five miles from Birmingham city centre. With its charming building, in which Christian values and prayer are almost tangible, its long and interesting history and peaceful grounds, Maryvale is spiritual ‘home’ to many. The site of the Maryvale institute has been in Catholic occupation since the Middle Ages. From 1794 to 1838 it was the home of Oscott College, the first seminary to open in England after the reformation. It was John Henry Newman and his followers who gave it the name ‘Maryvale’ after St Philip Neri’s Church in Rome, and it is specified in the Papal Brief as the location of the first English Oratory of St Philip in 1848. From 1851 to 1980 the Sisters of Mercy ran an orphanage and established a school for poor children. In 1980 it became catechetical centre for the archdiocese of Birmingham and the present Catholic college for theology and catechesis developed out of the Adult Centre for Catechetics opened by Bishop Dwyer in 1980.

Oscott HouseOscott House

St Mary’s College, Oscott, the seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham serving the Church in England, Wales and Scotland. The present home of Oscott College dates from 1838. As the college expanded and Catholic life in England emerged from the penal times, it was decided to rebuild the college on a new site. It was the brainchild of Thomas Walsh, Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District. With the help of John, sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, George Ignatius Spencer and other benefactors, Walsh bought land and employed Joseph Potter of Lichfield as architect. Oscott would symbolise the renewal of Catholic life in England and become the show place of English Catholicism.