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In 1850 Sister Terese Emmanuel and four sisters of the Religious order of the Assumption created a foundation on this site which was formerly an orphanage.

The Sisters established a school for the poor, educating the local girls working in the nearby mills.

The Assumption School finally closed its doors in 1993. On February 14th 2000 the buildings were damaged by fire and shortly after, the development was taken over by Carlbury Developments.

The Assumption School is being sympathetically converted to The Old Convent, using traditional materials coupled with modern technology.

Carlbury Developments Ltd bought the former Convent from another development partnership between Barratt Homes, Norbury Developments and Robert Samuels. The Carlbury plans differed greatly from the original plans. The original plans came up against strong opposition from the Town Council, the Civic Society and local residents as they involved the demolition of the original Hermitage Building

The Convent was purchased the day after the fire in February 2000, after a battle with Barratts over their plans for a much more intensive development. Work commenced on the site in March 2000 and will be complete in April 2002

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